“Do you know my name now, Hector?”
This was Anthony Smith’s question to his opponent, Hector Lombard, in the third round of the pair’s fight at UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh. The fight was nearing its end, but Smith wasn’t done yet. Shortly after shouting this question to his fellow middleweight, Smith finished the fight by technical knockout. It was apparent that not only did Lombard know the name of his rival, but Smith got the attention of all fight fans tuning in and put his stamp on the 185-pound division.
It was Lombard’s ignorance about Smith that fueled the fighter on fight night.
In an interview with ChicagoLandSportsRadio.com, Smith, a fight veteran said that Lombard not knowing who he was gave him extra motivation on fight night.
“It gave me a lot [of motivation],” Smith told ChicagoLandSportsRadio host and Combat Press writer Mike Pendleton. “I’ve been in this game a long time and I’ve been through a lot. I’ve grinded from the bottom. I have been through some of the worst situations the sport can put you into, and I made my way out of it. I wanted to prove who I am and what I can do.”
After his win over Lombard, Smith and UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik spoke about a possible move up to light heavyweight. Smith said a move to the 205-pound division is something that may likely have to be done permanently in the future, but right now it’s all about keeping his options open.
“I’d like to keep this run at 185 as long as I can, but if they’re not going to give me a ranked opponent next, I’ll go up to 205 and break one of those guys off,” said Smith. “It doesn’t matter to me. I just want a big name and big opponent, wherever I have to go to get that.
“I don’t want there to be a misconception that I’m going to 205 ’cause I think it’s an easier weight class. I think at 205 I can get right into the mix ’cause it’s thinner, but the competition there isn’t easier.”
Speaking of the light heavyweight division, Smith doesn’t care all that much for its former champion, Jon Jones.
“I really don’t give a shit what Jon Jones is doing right now,” Smith said. “If I’m going to go to 205, I’m going to jump right into the mix. As far as Jones goes, I think he’s a disgrace to the sport. He’s no better than Lance Armstrong was to cycling [and] no better than Barry Bonds was to baseball, and it’s just nothing but a black eye. I think Jon Jones needs to go away.”
Smith has his sights set on making an impact wherever the best opportunity presents itself. The “Lionheart” is just here to do what’s best for him.
A true fighting veteran who has evolved as much as the sport he’s in, Smith is making it more and more clear who he is with each fight. Whether it’s at middleweight or light heavyweight, Smith wants the biggest name and the biggest opportunity. More importantly, he wants to make sure everyone knows his name.