Anthony Smith knows a rematch might be in his future if he can get past Ryan Spann at UFC Vegas 37.
Anthony Smith is getting ready to headline his seventh UFC fight card. In this one, he is set to take on Ryan Spann and potentially get himself back in the mix for a title shot. Smith knows the tough task he has ahead of him in Spann but can’t help to think what could be next. Smith thinks a rematch with the last man to hand him a loss could be the thing he needs.
“I think after this fight, if I go in and have a dominant performance, I don’t think I have to defend my position anymore and I can go back to climbing,” Smith told MMA Junkie. “That’s why the Rakic fight makes sense to me. I have to climb ahead of me. Thiago (Santos) already has a fight coming up; Jiri (Prochazka) has the title shot to fight the winner (of Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira); Reyes is coming off three losses – I don’t think that makes sense for me. There’s really just Rakic there and that’s the guy that makes sense for me.”
Smith and Rakic are both on two-fight winning streaks. With his last win over Thiago Santos, Rakic has moved into the number three spot in the UFC light heavyweight rankings. Champion Jan Blachowicz already has his next fight lined up against Glover Teixeira, so Smith wants to line something up with the possible next contender, Rakic.
“I know he wants to wait for the title fight, but I don’t think that makes any sense,” Smith said. “He hasn’t had any barn-burning performances. He’s done enough to win, which is essentially what you have to do. But he’s not wowing anybody and the UFC is not begging him to fight for the title. He’s in a position where he’s going to fight again or get skipped. If I have to be the guy to push that, I would be happy to do that.”
Smith notably lost his first title shot opportunity when he was defeated by Jon Jones in 2019. Since then he has had a record of 3-2. Staying active and winning is the plan Smith has for himself. He is rooting for Teixeira in the title fight and hopes to be in the with him again soon.
Do you think a win over Aleksander Rakic could put Anthony Smith into title contention?