‘Fat’ Anthony Smith eyeing a fight that ‘doesn’t make sense’ for his UFC return in 2024: ‘That would be fun’

Anthony Smith

Light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith is ready to get back to work following a brutal third-round knockout loss to Khalil Rountree in his last outing.

Smith, who once challenged Jon Jones for the 205-pound title, has struggled to find the win column as of late, dropping three of his last four fights. Despite the string of losses, ‘Lionheart’ has no interest in hanging up his gloves just yet. Instead, he’s in the market for something exciting in the Octagon — just as soon as he whips himself back into shape.

“I’m ready to fight,” Smith said on his Believe You Me podcast with co-host Michael Bisping. “It kind of just hit me. Not fight, fight, but ready to start finding a fight. Pick up the workouts a little bit. I’m fat. I’ve got this belly hanging over the pants. I was 237 like a week ago. I’m heavy.

“When I’m off, I’m off. I’m all the way off. I’ve been trying to change my mindset a little bit, and there’s a couple things that matter. The name doesn’t really matter. How I feel about it really matters. I want something that’s exciting. And maybe divisionally it doesn’t make sense, I don’t know.”

Anthony Smith Reveals Possible Return Date

Smith, 36, has seemingly put to bed his dream of one day once again competing for the light heavyweight championship. At this point in his career, he would rather focus on finding fights that are fun and motivating, no matter how they impact his stance in the division’s top 10.

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He also revealed when fight fans could potentially see him back inside the Octagon.

“I don’t care if they’re ranked,” Smith continued. “I don’t care if they’re not ranked, ranked high. I don’t care who it is. It has to be something that I deem as fun. And I know that’s really stupid, but when I hear the name I want it to be exciting. I want it to be like, ‘Oh, that would be fun.’ I need something that’s fun, and I want to look forward to it.

“The danger factor doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t care how hard the fight’s going to be. I want it to be someone that gets me excited, and I want it to be somewhere that gets me excited. The timing, I’m less concerned with the timing. May or June” (h/t MMA Mania).

Anthony Smith is 37-19 in his mixed martial arts career and carries a record of 12-9 under the UFC banner. After earning three-straight finishes against Rashad Evans, ‘Shogun’ Rua, and Volkan Oezdemir, ‘Lionheart’ earned a shot at then-light heavyweight champ Jon Jones at UFC 235. He came up short, suffering a lopsided unanimous decision loss in his lone title opportunity.

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He has since gone 5-5 inside the Octagon.