Friday, December 2, 2022

Anthony Smith Laughs Off Ion Cutelaba’s Callout

Anthony Smith is not impressed with Ion Cutelaba’s callout. 

UFC Vegas 37’s main event saw Anthony Smith outclass Ryan Spann en route to a first-round finish. Smith wasn’t the only light heavyweight to pick up a big win on the card; Ion Cutelaba also earned a victory against Devin Clark in the co-main event.

Cutelaba called out Smith after his win, but it doesn’t seem “Lionheart” is going to be granting the Moldovan fighter’s wish any time soon. At the post-fight press conference, Smith seemed surprised that Cutelaba had the audacity to challenge him.  

“No, he didn’t,” Smith chuckled in disbelief. “No, that ain’t it” (laughs again).

Of course, fighters have to shoot their shots, but Smith doesn’t believe “The Hulk” is on his level. Cutelaba had a solid performance that went all fifteen minutes, while Smith finished the same opponent in the first round last year. 

“I like watching Ion fight. I think his style’s super-exciting. But no, I’m good. I mean, did you watch the fight he was just in? You see what I did to that guy? OK. Just making sure.”

A fight that is on Smith’s mind is a rematch with Alexsander Rakic. The pair met in August of last year and Rakic dominated the bout. Smith now wants a chance at revenge and a chance to get that #3 spot back. 

“That’s what I want. That’s what I asked for. That’s the fight that I want. It’s the one I’ve been talking about. It’s nothing personal. Me and Rakic have nothing but positive exchanges with each other before and after the fight. It’s purely competitive. I want his spot. He took mine; I want to take it back.”

At the end of the day, a bout with Cutelaba doesn’t make sense to Smith. Smith is currently ranked sixth in the UFC’s official rankings while Cutelaba is not listed in the top fifteen. 

“I tell you what I’m not gonna do. I’m not gonna fight someone ranked below me. I’ve done that three times in a row now. I think I’ve paid my dues. I think I made up for whatever I had to make up for those two losses. It would be mind-blowing if they wanted me to fight someone below me again. So I’ll wait for whatever makes sense. If it’s Rakic, great…it’s gotta be a fight that’ll get me to a title fight.”

Jan Blachowicz sits atop the lightweight division right now and will defend his title against Glover Teixeira in October. Jiří Procházka is the likely contender to the winner of that bout should he choose to wait for the victor. With the next two title fights possibly booked, this gives the rest of the division some time to sort itself out over the upcoming months.