It remains to be seen if Anthony Smith ends up facing Jon Jones in the coming months, but “Lionheart” delivered a warning to the former, light-heavyweight champ, following his win last night at UFC Moncton.
Smith took on fellow contender, Volkan Oezdemir in Saturday’s headliner, and proceeded to finish the feared striker with a rear-naked-choke in round three. Following round two, it looked like Oezdemir might be headed to victory, as he controlled much of the second frame. Smith, however, rebounded in round three, and scored the biggest win of his career.
Well, after the bout, Jones was asked for his take on Smith’s performance, and the star labelled it as “OK”. Smith was asked to respond to Jones’ tweet, and here’s some of what he had to say (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“If he ain’t worried about it, what’s he watching for?” Smith said. “Jon Jones should worry about Alexander Gustafsson first. I think that performance was exactly one Jon Jones would hate to see. You’re not going to get me out of there with a little bit of flash and some hard punches. That ain’t going to happen. But if I was Jon Jones, I would probably be a little bit more worried about Alexander Gustafsson than Anthony Smith right now.”
“(He’s not going to win) if he’s more focused about what me and Volkan Oezdemir are doing, that’s for damn sure,” Smith added. “The best Jon Jones has to show up to win that fight. I’d imagine with all the time off that Jon is going to train his ass off. He claims that he didn’t train at all for the first one, so the real Jon Jones shows up, I’d imagine he gets it done. I hope he does because that’s who I want. That’s no disrespect to Gustafsson. I want to be the man to take out Jon Jones, but he’s got to get through Gus first.”
There you have it. Now, Jones’ comments shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise really. While Smith showed a ton of heart last night, and once again, demonstrated he’s a very dangerous fighter, he didn’t cruise through Oezdemir. It should also be noted that Jones didn’t come out and outright, criticize Smith’s performance either.
Smith is on point in noting that Jones should worry about beating Gustafsson first, after all, their first fight in 2013 was very competitive, and “The Mauler” has remained a top contender for a reason. The two will rematch on December 29th at UFC 232, which will go down in Las Vegas, Nevada.