Anthony Smith is ready to win again as he steps in as the short-notice replacement to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 134. Speaking to James Lynch recently, Smith says that while this turnaround may seem sudden, fans have no reason to be surprised by the fact that he has agreed to compete so quickly following his UFC 225 victory over Rashad Evans, which would turn out to be the last fight for Evans in the promotion:
“I’m telling you…you guys gotta pay attention. I’m not joking when I say, ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anywhere, and I don’t give a shit,” Smith said. “And I’m always ready. Shogun’s not getting an out-of-shape, chubby, not-ready, short-notice replacement. I’m a different beast, and I’m always prepared.
“I feel better right now than I did going into the Rashad fight.”
The prospect of Smith being in even better condition than he was last month following his dominant win over Rashad Evans will not draw fear from a veteran as tested as Shogun, but it just might for his fans. Rashad Evans did not have a pleasant farewell in his last day at the office, as Smith’s knee to the face brought an unceremonial end to the legend’s career, and Smith expects a similar result when facing another legend next Sunday:
“I think I’m going to viciously knockout Shogun, and I don’t see any other way it ends.”
As the winner of four of his last five bouts, with each and every one of those victories coming by KO/TKO, Smith certainly has all the reasons in the world to carry this confidence with him into this bout. When you combine that fact with the fact that Shogun’s last two losses have come by way of KO/TKO, it certainly is not a stretch that Smith’s vision will come to pass.
UFC Fight Night 134 takes place on July 22, 2018 from the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, with the Smith/Shogun bout headlining the card.
What do you think? Will Anthony Smith knock out Shogun Rua as he predicts?