One-time light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Smith may be preoccupied by a fight with another Brazilian this weekend at UFC on ABC 4 in the form of Johnny Walker, however, stressed his interest in welcoming former middleweight champion, Sao Paulo striker, Alex Pereira to the weight class in the future.
Smith, the current #5 ranked light heavyweight contender, is slated to co-headline the promotion’s return to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend – taking on Rio de Janiero native, Walker over the course of three rounds.
Sidelined since a July main card clash with recent vacant title challenger, Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277, Smith has since recovered from an ankle injury suffered in the clash, resulting in a ground strikes TKO blemish.
Prior to that defeat, the Nebraska veteran had embarked on a stunning three fight winning spree, laying waste to emerging talents, Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute, and Ryan Spann.
And as for Pereira, the former middleweight champion, who was touted to struggle at the light heavyweight limit by Smith ahead of his move, is poised to make his Octagon return from a brutal KO loss to Israel Adesanya back in April – in a light heavyweight move.
Anthony Smith notes his admiration for Alex Pereira
However, ahead of his UFC Charlotte return this weekend against Walker, Smith noted his interest in fighting the former’s compatriot, Pereira in the future – noting his admiration for the former two-weight GLORY Kickboxing kingpin.
“Yeah, I would love that fight [with Alex Pereira],” Anthony Smith told assembled media during his availability ahead of UFC Charlotte. “I’m a big fan of Alex, I’m a big kickboxing fan. So I knew who Alex Pereira was before he even came to the MMA side. So I was excited when I seen him get booked at LFA, I believe. I didn’t suspect he would be on the regional scene very long, just because the type of athlete that he is.”
“I think the same problems he would have – outside of Israel Adesanya he would have at 185 [pounds], he would have at 205 [pounds],” Anthony Smith explained. “You know, I’m a huge Israel Adesanya fan, I don’t ever wanna take away anything from that guy, but if Izzy is blast doubling you, and controlling you on the ground. You know, a guy like (Aleksandar) Rakic, (Magomed) Ankalaev, (Jan) Blachowicz, or myself, are gonna give you the same problems.”