Anthony Smith Teases Next Fight The UFC

Anthony Smith’s Next Fight

With three losses in his last four UFC bouts, light heavyweight Anthony Smith is in dire need of a victory. He will look to return to the win column when he faces unbeaten prospect Vitor Petrino.

The UFC’s No.10 ranked 205-pound contender has been struggling to put together a successful run since losing to Jon Jones in 2019. Smith challenged Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 235 but lost via unanimous decision, despite the champion getting deducted two points in Round 4 due to an illegal knee.

Following the defeat, the former Victory FC and Cage Fury FC middleweight champion has lost half of his last 10 bouts, including three out of his most recent four Octagon appearances. Despite his recent struggles, Smith has remained in the Top 10 because of the quality of opposition that he’s faced. Now he gets a chance to return to the winner’s circle by shutting up a young prospect.

The 26-year-old Petrino began his MMA career fighting at promotions like Max Fight, Adventure Fighters Tournament, and UAE Warriors. He earned a UFC contract after scoring a second-round knockout victory over Rodolfo Bellato in Week 7 of the 2022 Contender Series.

In four UFC bouts, Petrino has been impressive. He has gone 4-0 with two stoppages and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Tyson Pedro at UFC Fight Night 238 last March 2024. After retiring Pedro, he called out Smith.

Recently, Smith revealed that the only reason why he accepted the Petrino fight was because he was mad because of all the fighters in the division, the Brazilian chose to call him out. Smith said that despite what his recent record suggests, he isn’t a gatekeeper whom up-and-coming fighters use on their way up.

“I’m offended,” Smith said on SiriusXM’s MMA Today. “Why didn’t he call out someone higher ranked? Why didn’t he call out (Aleksandar) Rakic? As far as timelines go, Rakic is going to be fighting soon. That would be a little closer to your timeline, in terms of two guys that are fighting around the same time. Why didn’t you call out Rakic or Volkan Oezdemir? Why didn’t you call out any of those guys? Because you think you can beat me. You’re not sure about the other ones and that pisses me off.”

No doubt, Petrino will move up the ladder if he beats Lionheart. However, if he thinks that Smith is just another stepping stone in his ascent in the sport, he could be in for a rude awakening at UFC 301.