Anthony Smith is ready to get back to work.
The former UFC title challenger has not competed since getting obliterated by Khalil Rountree in the UFC Vegas 83 co-main event last Dec. in Las Vegas. “Lionheart” has now dropped three of his last four and his lone win during that span was a one-eyed split decision that did little to help this cause.
So what’s next for the No. 10-ranked light heavyweight?
“I’m ready to fight,” Smith said on his “Believe You Me” podcast with co-host Michael Bisping (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “It kind of just hit me. Not fight, fight, but ready to start finding a fight. Pick up the workouts a little bit. I’m fat. I’ve got this belly hanging over the pants. I was 237 like a week ago. I’m heavy. When I’m off, I’m off. I’m all the way off. I’ve been trying to change my mindset a little bit, and there’s a couple things that matter. The name doesn’t really matter. How I feel about it really matters. I want something that’s exciting. And maybe divisionally it doesn’t make sense, I don’t know.”
Smith, who turns 36 in July, insists he doesn’t want to become a bigger version of Donald Cerrone, the former lightweight fighter who was known for taking any fight at any time, regardless of how it affected his quest for the division title.
“I don’t care if they’re ranked,” Smith continued. “I don’t care if they’re not ranked, ranked high. I don’t care who it is. It has to be something that I deem as fun. And I know that’s really stupid, but when I hear the name I want it to be exciting. I want it to be like, ‘Oh, that would be fun.’ I need something that’s fun, and I want to look forward to it. The danger factor doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t care how hard the fight’s going to be. I want it to be someone that gets me excited, and I want it to be somewhere that gets me excited. The timing, I’m less concerned with the timing. May or June.”
Smith (37-19) stands at 5-5 since losing to Jon Jones at UFC 235.
I can’t speak for Smith or UFC matchmakers but a showdown against No. 15-ranked Dustin Jacoby could be a fun fight for both combatants. Like Smith, the 35 year-old “Hanyak” is also coming off a loss and dropped three of his last four inside the Octagon.