Former light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Smith has responded to recent comments from arch-rival and former undisputed middleweight championship holder, Alex Pereira – claiming if he is in search of a UFC rival, he’s got on in waiting.
Smith, who snapped a disappointing two-fight losing skid earlier this month, managed to land a close, split decision win over Ryan Spann in the pair’s rematch – landing his first victory since he submitted the former with a rear-naked choke in a 2021 headliner at the UFC Apex facility.
As for Sao Paulo knockout artist, Pereira, the Brazilian made a successful light heavyweight divisional bow at UFC 291 back in July in Salt Lake City, Utah – landing in the division with a close, split judging win of his own over former champion, Jan Blachowicz.
Reacting to claims from Smith ahead of his outing in Kallang that he looked entirely normal at the light heavyweight limit, Pereira the one-time title challenger, claimed the former would amount to nothing, and described him as “washed-up”.
Anthony Smith hits back at UFC foe, Alex Pereira
Sharing his thoughts on the comments from Pereira – as well as a subsequent offer of a grappling match, Smith claimed he would be willing to rival the Brazilian if needs be.
“I said a bunch of nice sh*t about you, and you’re going to talk sh*t?” Anthony Smith said of Alex Pereira on his SiriusXM radio programe. “I don’t think so. That’s not how this works. Then we’re going to shake hands when we see each other because you’re doing this media thing because you’re looking for a rival? If you want a f*cking rival, you’ve got one right here. I didn’t do sh*t to you. I’ve been nothing but complimentary of him and his whole team and a lot of his training partners. I don’t know what I did to that guy.”
As for Pereira, the Brazilian has been lined up to challenge for vacant light heavyweight gold against former champion, Jiri Prochazka – potentially as soon as December of this year at UFC 296.