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Leslie Smith expresses displeasure at UFC being unfair to deserving title contenders

  • Leslie Smith is likely one win away from a much-coveted rematch against the reigning champion.
  • Cyborg finished Smith in the first round of their catchweight match up at UFC 198.
Anurag Mitra
ANALYST
News
Modified 23 Mar 2020, 23:38 IST

Leslie Smith vs Arlene Blencowe
Leslie Smith vs Arlene Blencowe

Bellator featherweight, Leslie Smith is likely one win away from a much coveted rematch against the reigning champion and MMA veteran, Cris Cyborg. Four years ago, when both of them were in the UFC, Cyborg finished Smith in the first round of their catchweight match up at UFC 198.

Prior to her fight at Bellator 241 against Jessy Miele which later got postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Smith spoke to MMA Fighting, criticizing her former employers for ensuring that the likes of Yoel Romero and Jose Aldo receive title shots while on losing streaks, claiming it is unfair to the people who work their way up the ranks to earn a title shot.

“I think it’s unfortunate because it makes a mockery of merit-based aspects of a fighter working their way up to reach a title shot. I think Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero is an appealing fight, however do I think that it should take precedence over everybody else that’s worked their way up for a title? No, I don’t."

Smith said that she doesn't have a problem with promotions booking such high-profile match ups which generate a lot of interest and is good for the business, but title fights should always be based on merit and not popularity.

“That’s kind of the whole point of, like, winning, is that you’re supposed to be working your way up and getting higher ranked and getting a title shot. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with any promotion putting together a superfight. I think it would be nice if there were two categories: A superfight category and then a merit-based championship category.”
Published 23 Mar 2020, 23:38 IST
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