Light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith pulled off a stunning and dominant display in his first round submission victory over Ryan Spann in the main event of UFC Fight Night 192 (UFC Vegas 37) on Saturday night at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas.
Having bagged the win, Smith switched his focus to a rematch with Aleksander Rakic, who ranks higher than him and owns a unanimous decision victory over him. Rakic defeated Smith at FIght night 175 back in 2020 and his aim is to avenge that loss.
Smith made clear in his post fight interview of his interest and also doubled down on his intentions during his Post fight press conference. His wishes seems well on its way to fruition as Rakic responded on his Twitter handle, saying he will be free in December.
Smith doesn’t have a beef with Rakic but just wants to proof he is a better version of himself and will take in those higher than him on the Rankings to make sure that point is clear.
“That’s what I wanted,” Smith told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC Fight Night 192 post-event press conference. “That’s what I asked for. That’s the fight I’ve been talking about. It’s nothing personal. Me and Rakic have had nothing but positive exchanges with each other both before and after the fight. It’s purely competitive. I want his spot. He took mine, I want to take it back.”
Since that loss Smith had a knockout loss to Glover Teixeira, a brutal one that eventually led to his losing his spot to Rakic and that had him bothered as he found himself in a “Dark Place” and wasn’t in his right mind set during the training camp.
Smith has since made a quick turnaround and scored three straight victories which include Jimmy Crute, Devin Clark and now Ryan Spann. Smith wants the big fights especially those that will lead him quickly towards a title shot.
“No disrespect – I think Dominick Reyes is an easier fight (than Rakic), but that doesn’t get me closer to the title,” Smith said. “I need what’s going to get me closest to the title fight. I could hang around and wait for the loser of the title fight, but I don’t want to wait. I think for me stylistically – not saying for everyone – but for me, Rakic is probably the toughest fight out of those (top) five guys.”
Smith clearly won the fight with a dominant display and was awarded “Performance Of The Night” honours. However, Smith believes the fight was wild and wasn’t orderly or clean and that’s how he would have loved his win.
Spann had a lot of hype in the build up to Fight Night 192 and there were many who believed he was going to be the future of the UFC 205 pound division, whatever their thinking was Smith believes he wasn’t given enough credit.
“What do I got to do? Who do I have to beat?” Smith said. “I beat the old guys and people said they were too old. Now I beat the young guys and everyone says they’re not ranked high enough. What the f*ck do you want me to do? I don’t give a f*ck anymore. I’m doing what I have to do and fighting the guys in front of me.”
Anthony Smith defeated Ryan Spann in the main event of UFC Vegas 37 on Saturday Night