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Anthony Smith Cultivates ‘Cool Relationship’ With Alex Pereira Throughout UFC 303 Struggle Week: ‘We Have No Downside’


Every part is all good between Anthony Smith and Alex Pereira.

During the last 12 months, ‘Lionheart’ discovered himself in an surprising feud with the sunshine heavyweight champion. All of it seemingly started when ‘Poatan’ took exception to Smith’s commentary throughout his fights, claiming the one-time title challenger by no means gave him credit score for his success from the second he first stepped contained in the Octagon.

“The problem is, he has his job with the UFC commentating,” Pereira mentioned on The MMA Hour in 2023. “He’s obtained to do what he’s obtained to do, however we really feel that because the starting, he offers me no credit score.”

Regardless of Pereira’s feedback producing a slew of headlines, Smith insisted that there was no beef between himself and the two-division titleholder.

“It’s bizarre,” Smith advised Helwani throughout his personal MMA Hour look. “I don’t come at him. I’ve by no means come for him like that. After all, you have got the title belt in my division, so when individuals say, ‘What’s your purpose?’ I wish to struggle the champion. I wish to struggle Alex Pereira. However he goes out of his strategy to choose at me, which is okay. It doesn’t trouble me, I believe it’s superior really, it’s type of a number of enjoyable as a result of he has a humorousness.”

Anthony Smith

‘Lionheart’ echoed an analogous sentiment throughout a current episode of the Imagine You Me podcast with Michael Bisping, revealing that the 2 fighters have been nothing however cordial with each other after sharing the stage at UFC 303 in Las Vegas.

“Alex and I’ve this very cool relationship,” Smith mentioned. “I believe it’s very, very cool what we now have happening. … We’re very, I believe simply aggressive usually, however after we’re in particular person, I assumed it was so cool how we now have this like—we now have a number of respect for one another. As a result of it’s not awkward in particular person. It’s a head nod acknowledgment. We don’t speak or shake palms or something like that, however we now have no drawback standing proper subsequent to one another in a room.

“I believe it’s cool how we now have this aggressive factor. His staff has all the time been so cool to me earlier than—Glover [Teixeira] and his spouse have all the time been tremendous cool to me. It’s all the time been an embrace after we see one another. A respectful little chit-chat. Everybody acknowledges me. They’re nonetheless tremendous type to me. I believe it might be unfair of me to not say on the flip aspect how in social conditions or after we’re in particular person, how tremendous respectful he’s—even his children.”

‘Pereira’ scores second-straight title protection whereas Anthony smith drops 4 of his final 6

Stepping in on quick discover, Anthony Smith squared off with No. 10 ranked middleweight contender Roman Dolidze after his initially scheduled opponent, Carlos Ulberg, withdrew attributable to an harm. ‘Lionheart’ got here up on the scorecards, surrendering a unanimous choice to ‘The Caucasian.’ He has now dropped 4 of his final six fights.

Anthony SmithAnthony Smith

In the meantime, ‘Poatan’ secured his second gentle heavyweight title protection in three months, KO’ing Jiri Prochazka seconds into the second spherical with a wonderfully executed head kick adopted by just a few ground-and-pound pictures.

With Alex Pereira sitting atop the sunshine heavyweight division and Smith sitting firmly outdoors the highest 10, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the 2 compete in opposition to each other on MMA’s largest stage. Nonetheless, it’s good to see that the pair have put their rivalry to relaxation, irrespective of how massive or small it ever really was.

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