As of this writing, Corey Anderson is the 5th-ranked light heavyweight in the world, two spots behind #3-ranked Anthony “Lionheart” Smith. Anderson is currently riding a four-fight winning streak and has been quite vocal about where he believes he sits in the light heavyweight title picture. Meanwhile, Anthony Smith is of the opinion that Corey Anderson is making matters much more complicated than it needs to be and that the formula to a title shot is quite simple:
“I just beat the next guy,” Smith said in an MMA Tonight interview about how he earned a title shot. “When the UFC said, ‘Oh, what do you think’s next?’ ‘Whoever you think is next. Who do I gotta beat to get to a title shot?’ ‘Well, Volkan Oezdemir’s number 2.’ ‘Give me that fucking guy then.’ And that’s what I did. Sometimes you gotta put your head down, and you gotta work, and stop complaining all the time.”
Smith’s comments would then turn more pointed, directing Anderson to his next steps if he expects to see a world title shot in his future, and those steps lead directly to Smith:
“Just put your head down, and beat the next guy, and don’t complain about it,” Smith continued. “And then, every once in awhile, try to be a little bit exciting and stop talking shit about the guys that are doing it right. You want to talk shit about Thiago Santos? Thiago Santos got a title shot. You want to talk shit about me? I got a title shot. So instead of talking shit, maybe emulate what we do a little bit, try to get a goddamn finish, stop talking shit about the UFC, and just beat the next guy. It’s that simple.
“I don’t understand this formula in his head, it’s like he’s doing brain surgery. It’s not that hard. I’m the next guy that you have to beat. It’s that simple.”
What are your thoughts on Anthony Smith’s harsh advice for Corey Anderson?