Anthony Smith confused by his ongoing beef with UFC champ Alex Pereira: ‘It’s just weird to me’

Anthony Smith confused by his ongoing beef with UFC champ Alex Pereira: 'It’s just weird to me'

Anthony Smith doesn’t fully understand the beef between himself and Alex Periera.

Despite being a long way away from a potential title opportunity, Pereira has taken repeated digs at Smith in recent years, the most recent coming at UFC 301 when ‘Poatan’ hilariously pretended to fall asleep just as ‘Lionheart’ was seconds away from fighting Vitor Petrino.

As an analyst for the UFC, Smith was quick to point out that Pereira’s success inside the Octagon is especially impressive considering his lack of a ground game. That kicked off a back-and-forth between the two 205’ers culminating in Pereira laying down a $50,000 grappling challenge, which Smith gladly accepted.

Since then, Smith has been inundated with comments from hardcore ‘Poatan’ fans suggesting that Smith is doing everything he can to avoid throwing hands with the former GLORY Kickboxing champion.

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Anthony Smith

“Here’s another thing I catch a lot of sh*t about,” Smith said on The MMA Hour. “Everywhere, ‘Oh, of course, Anthony wants to grapple Alex Pereira. Of course, he only wants to do one part of mixed martial arts.’ Because it wasn’t my f*cking idea. It wasn’t my f*cking idea. Every single time grappling has been brought up with Alex Pereira, he f*cking brought it up. I’ve never challenged him to anything, not even a fight, because I haven’t been in a position where I can confidently call him out. The answer to whatever the f*ck he wants to do is yes.

“If he wants to fight, box, kickbox, wrestle, f*cking thumb wrestle, checkers, chess, Halo on Xbox, I don’t give a f*ck. Whatever he wants to do, the answer is yes. But I’m not the one who keeps challenging him. If he wants to grapple, yes, I will absolutely do that. I would choose that over everything that I just said, that would be the most fun for me, for sure. But I’m not the one who keeps bringing it up” (h/t MMA Fighting).

Anthony Smith can appreciate Alex Pereira’s sense of humor

As for Pereira’s antics at UFC 301, Anthony Smith didn’t see it happen live, but later watched it back on video and couldn’t help but be amused by the two-division titleholder’s brand of humor.

“It’s weird,” Smith said. “I don’t come at him. I’ve never come for him like that. Of course, you have the title belt in my division, so when people say, ‘What’s your goal?’ I want to fight the champion. I want to fight Alex Pereira. But he goes out of his way to pick at me, which is fine. It doesn’t bother me, I think it’s awesome actually, it’s kind of a lot of fun because he has a sense of humor.

“Like I’ve always said, he’s not this guy that’s just a serial killer mindset. He’s got a sense of humor, he’s funny, he has a really good pulse on social media and he does a good job of molding and weaving in and out of media stuff. He’s very, very intelligent, so I enjoy that part of it. It’s just weird to me.”

Alex Pereira

After losing back-to-back bouts against Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker, ‘Lionheart’ has now won two of his last three, including his first-round guillotine submission victory over the previously undefeated Vitor Petrino in Rio.

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Smith currently sits at No. 10 in the light heavyweight rankings.

Anthony Smith