Smith has been out of action nursing injuries for the last several months, but that doesn’t appear to have dimmed his competitive spirits.
It seems Anthony Smith still hasn’t forgotten that promo Ryan Spann cut heading into their 2021 Fight Night main event. Attempting to channel Rorschach’s line from the watchem about Smith being “locked in here with me,” Spann was quickly made to eat his words when the two men stepped in the cage on fight night, with Smith picking up the first round submission.
‘Lionheart’ has been out of action for the last several months, dealing with an ankle injury, knee surgeries, and multiple infections, but it doesn’t seem the extended time riding the bench has dulled his competitive instincts at all.
Coming off a big win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 281, Spann issued a callout to the top five of the light heavyweight division. Most specifically, for his chance to fight at UFC gold. In a recent appearance on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Smith took a moment to remind Spann to ‘check the record.’
“I don’t know what happened in our fight that left him with any kind of confidence that he can still beat me or that he deserves a rematch,” Smith said (transcript via MMA Mania). “I had him on ice skates until he was shooting takedowns, I strangled him, and then stood over his body, reminding him what he was going to do to me. So, he’s my b—ch forever and he knows it.”
While Smith has denied any interest in re-matching Spann in the past, this time around he did sound a little more open to the idea—provided, of course, that Spann works his way up to it.
“Eventually, he may work himself into a situation where we’re gonna rematch, but I already fought down when I gave him an opportunity,” Smith continued. “Until he does something where I go, ‘Oh, wow. That was super impressive,’ he can f—k off. Him being an asshole didn’t work out for him the last time. He barely handled the first fight, how’s he gonna handle the second?”
Although no fight announcement has been made, Smith has stated that he’s ready to return to action and expects his next bout to be made public soon. Most recently, the Factory X talent suffered a TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev, back in July at UFC 277. That fight broke a streak of three-straight victories for the 34-year-old.