Anthony “Lionheart” Smith has been rising heavily through the 205-pound ranks. Smith has picked up wins over the likes of Rashad Evans, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and now Volkan Oezdemir. He is sitting in a nice position to demand the next opportunity at the light heavyweight championship.
However, the 205-pound division is in an interesting spot at the moment. Currently, the division’s title is held by Daniel Cormier. Cormier is to be stripped of the belt come UFC 232. That card is headlined by Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson, with the winner being awarded the 205-pound throne. Should Jones emerge victorious, and Cormier want an opportunity at facing Jones for the title in his retirement fight, Smith will likely be snubbed.
Not Smith’s Toughest Match-Up
If it were up to Smith, however, he’d like to face Jones for the light heavyweight strap. In fact, he doesn’t even believe Jones would be the most difficult match-up for him in the 205-pound division. As he told “The MMA Hour” recently, Smith believes Volkan Oezdemir was actually a tougher match-up than “Bones” would be (via MMA Fighting):
“I think that Volkan is one of the tougher matchups for me in the entire division just because of the way that he fights. I think that Jon Jones is less dangerous than Volkan is — Jon Jones isn’t one-punch knocking out anybody,” Smith said.
“It’s just, that’s not his style. He’s super crafty, he’s dynamic, I think he has a high fight IQ, but I think that he’s hittable, and I think that I match up with him size-wise pretty well.
“Obviously he’s got a longer reach than everybody in the entire UFC, but I think that Jon Jones beats a lot of people in that short range with the elbows and stuff, and I think that I’m just as dangerous in that elbow fighting range as anybody in the division.”
What do you think about Anthony Smith wanting to face Jon Jones next?