Anthony Smith admits that getting a rematch with Thiago Santos is important to him.
Tomorrow night (May 13), Smith will headline a UFC event in Jacksonville. He’ll go head-to-head with Glover Teixeira. Smith will be in search of his second straight victory. Teixeira will be vying for his fourth win in a row.
Smith Says Santos Rematch Is Important For Him
Ahead of the UFC Jacksonville event, Smith explained to reporters why he hopes to get a rematch with Thiago Santos (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“When I got cut from the UFC back in 2013 my first fight outside of the UFC was Josh Neer,” Smith told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during Monday’s UFC on ESPN+ 29 virtual media day. “It was a catchweight of 175 in the main event of BFC in Ohio. Josh Neer finished me in the fourth round. I changed a whole lot of things (after). I focused on getting better, and I change my mindset. I won eight in a row to get back to the UFC, and on the eighth fight I finished Josh Neer in under a minute (in the rematch).
“That’s how my brain works. I’ll come back to that. I had the fight, and it went the way it went with Thiago, but I know that I’m better than that, and I know that I can beat him. I know that’s what the fans want to see. I’ll circle back to that. After that fight I changed a lot of things, and I got better, and I focused on a lot, and I changed my mindset, and we’ll circle back to that, and it’ll be my next Josh Neer moment.”
Back in Feb. 2018, Smith and Santos competed in the middleweight division. Santos earned the TKO victory in the second round. “Lionheart” ended up moving up to the light heavyweight division and Santos would soon follow suit.
Both Smith and Santos have competed against Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. “Lionheart” and “Marreta” both fell short with decision losses. Santos was closer to taking Jones’ championship, as it was a split decision verdict.