Former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith really dislikes former middleweight kingpin, Luke Rockhold.
Smith, who grew up in Nebraska where you treat people with respect, believes it’s ok to talk a little trash to help sell a fight. However, if you’re just talking to be a jerk, then you’re no friend of “Lionheart”.
While Smith fell short in his bid to dethrone Jon Jones at UFC 235, he more than held his own throughout the five-round affair. Couple that with all the time Smith has put into this sport and he feels he deserves some respect. Respect that Rockhold was not giving him:
“The Conor (McGregor) thing, there’s either real beef, or he’s funny about it,” Smith told MMA Junkie. “It’s very clear that what Conor is doing is promotion. There’s no secret there. But Luke’s isn’t like that. He’s genuinely attacking me. There’s no promotion here. He’s just being an (expletive). Which is fine, but you’ve got to answer for that.
“Don’t act like we’re going to be in public places and we’re going to get along,” Smith said. “That’s not going to happen. I wasn’t raised like that. You talk like that in Nebraska, you’re going to get dragged out by your ears and get the (expletive) beat out of you.”
The Smith-Rockhold Beef
The beef between Smith and Rockhold seems to go back a couple of years ago when the Ralph Lauren model called Smith a “bum”. “Lionheart”, however, didn’t pay the comment much attention being the difference in weight classes. How quickly things can change in this crazy sport:
“If you want to talk your way into a fight, that’s fine,” he said. “There’s ways of going about it. You don’t have to convince me. I’m not the guy that you’ve got to goad into a fight. All you’ve got to do is ask. Want to fight? Sure. Yeah. Let’s do it. That’s as far as you’ve got to go.
“And if you want to build a fight, you’re not the (expletive) champion. So what are you building it for? You don’t get pay-per-view points. I don’t get PPV points. You’re not making any more money by being an (expletive). So what are we doing here? It’s a waste of time.”
Smith prides himself as a typical Midwestern boy. That is, he has a strict personal code and his word is bond. So when Rockhold criticized him for taking some time off, Smith stuck to his guns:
“I’m not here trying to be some company guy,” Smith said. “I’m a man of my word. And I’ve told you guys from day one, if the UFC offers me a fight, I’ll take it – if I’m healthy. I’ve stuck to that from day (expletive) one. A lot of people say that in the UFC, but not a lot of people mean it. It’s just a soundbyte to put on your Twitter and make everyone think you’re badass. I don’t say it for any other reason than it being true.”
It’s painfully obvious that Smith and Rockhold have different ideologies. A fact the Nebraska native bluntly points out:
“I’m not a pretty boy like him,” Smith said. “Nobody wants to take pictures with me in the club. I’ve got to work for a living, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m working. I’m not out here trash talking people for no reason.
“That’s why nobody likes him. Nobody in the UFC likes him, none of the staff likes him. None of the executives like him. None of the fighters like him. So he can sit pretty and eat his meals on TMZ and talk all the (expletive) all he wants. But at the end of the day, no one likes you, and sometimes that’s what matters most. It’s about how you treat people and if people respect you.”