Anthony Smith rekindles rivalry with UFC star Alex Pereira, eyes future fight: ‘I would stand in the fire with him’

Anthony Smith rekindles rivalry with Alex Pereira I would stand in the fire with him UFC

Rekindling his rivalry with undisputed light heavyweight champion, Alex Pereira, former divisional title challenger, Anthony Smith claims if afforded the opportunity – he would warrant the Brazilian an in-close striking battle, ahead of his UFC 301 return next weekend.

Smith, a former light heavyweight title chaser and the current number 10 ranked divisional contender, is slated to return to the Octagon next weekend in hostile territory in Brazil, featuring at UFC 301 in a showdown with a highly-touted unbeaten prospect, Vitor Petrino. 

Anthony Smith survives gnarly eye injury to win close decision in rematch Ryan Spann UFC Singapore
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Sidelined since last December, Nebraska veteran, Smith suffered a knockout loss to incoming UFC 303 co-headliner, Khalil Rountree – resulting in his third defeat in his four most recent walks under the promotional banner.

READ MORE:  Israel Adesanya warns Dricus du Plessis with UFC 305 title fight official: 'Don't be afraid. Be terrified'

For former duel-division champion, Pereira, the incumbent light heavyweight gold holder headlined UFC 300 earlier this month, landing a blistering first round KO win over another former champion, Jamahal Hill in a one-sided victory.

Anthony Smith talks rivalry with Alex Pereira

And sharing som fiery words on Smith prior to his title coronation at 205 pounds, Pereira claimed the former Bellator MMA fighter was “stuck in a rut” amid his losing skid, however, Smith admitted he hopes to still settle their differences in the future, vowing to stand and trade with him.

Anthony Smith expected to weigh up fighting retirement after UFC Charlotte loss
Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports

“He’s fun,” Anthony Smith told Submission Radio of Alex Pereira. “Him and I have had our words back-and-forth. I don’t think there’s any real beef there, but there’s definitely something there with him and I where given the opportunity, we both would jump on it. If I can put myself in a position where, ‘Oh, holy sh*t, we are on a bit of a streak,’ and things are going well, the timing works out, I think both of use would jump on that opportunity.”

READ MORE:  UFC CEO Dana White believes The Rock could score an Oscar nomination for The Smashing Machine

“I don’t know why that is,” Anthony Smith explained. “I don’t know if it’s ‘Real recognizes real’ a little bit. I’m one of the few guys probably that would really – I don’t know – I would step in the fire with him and he knows that.”

Alex Pereira weighs up Manchester fight with Tom Aspinall at UFC 304 I'm there

Would you like to see Alex Pereira take on Anthony Smith in the future?