UFC Stockholm: Anthony Smith is Punting Game Plans For Alexander Gustafsson Fight

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith is about to face one of the top light-heavyweights in the planet, but according to “Lionheart”, he has no game plan prepared for Alexander Gustafsson.

Smith will throw hands with the longtime contender this Saturday, in the headliner of UFC Stockholm. The timing of the fight is interesting, as both Smith and Gustafsson are coming off losses to the reigning champ, Jon Jones. Gustafsson faced Jones at UFC 232 this past December, and he was stopped by the champion in round three. Smith, meanwhile, met Jones at UFC 235 in March, and lost the fight via unanimous decision.

The loss to Jones snapped Smith’s three-fight winning streak, which had catapulted him into a title fight. More recently, Smith spoke with MMA Junkie.  While doing so, the noted finisher said this about his loss to Jones and as his bout this Saturday with “The Mauler”:

“I think I got away from who I am,” Smith said. “I’m a pressure fighter who counters and swings hammers. That’s what I do. I drop people into ugly, knockdown drag-outs and I beat them mentally.

“I think those last fights, I overthought it. So that’s been the whole focus. Just be me. There is no game plan for Alex. The last few fights, there have been pretty strict game plans, and they haven’t been my best performances.”

“…I had a (expletive) day at the office and was still able to be in there, and Alex wasn’t,” Smith said. “Regardless of what he says, I think Alex has a history (where) he can get into some fire and fall apart. And that’s not me. I don’t fall apart in the fire.

Smith isn’t the only fighter who says they perform better when they don’t have a pre-set plan, and just go with what’s working in the bout. But, none of this means that Smith isn’t keenly aware of Gustafsson’s strengths and how he typically fights.

The former middleweight also added that he believes Gustafsson can be “broken” in fights. It will be interesting to see what the Swedish star thinks of that assessment.

If you’re wondering, Smith is a fair sized underdog on the betting lines heading into this weekend’s card.

Here is the line-up for UFC Stockholm.

Main Card  (ESPN+ – 1 p.m. ET)

205 lbs.: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith
205 lbs.: Ilir Latifi vs. Volkan Oezdemir
205 lbs.: Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksandar Rakic
145 lbs.: Makwan Amirkhani vs. Chris Fishgold
155 lbs.: Christos Giagos vs. Damir Hadzovic
145 lbs.: Daniel Teymur vs. Sung Bin Jo

Prelims (ESPN2 – 10 a.m. ET)

135 lbs.: Tonya Evinger vs. Lina Lansberg
155 lbs.: Stevie Ray vs. Leonardo Santos
170 lbs.: Nick Hein vs. Frank Camacho
135 lbs.: Bea Malecki vs. Eduarda Santana
205 lbs.: Darko Stosic vs. Devin Clark
155 lbs.: Joel Alvarez vs. Danilo Belluardo
170 lbs.: Rostem Akman vs. Sergey Khandozhko

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