Anthony Smith heaps praise on City Kickboxing rival before UFC 303 showdown: "I have a lot of respect for him and his team"

Anthony Smith (Right) heaps praise on Carlos Ulberg (Left) [Images via: @lionheartsmith and @carlosulberg on Instagram]
Anthony Smith (Right) heaps praise on Carlos Ulberg (Left) [Images via: @lionheartsmith and @carlosulberg on Instagram]

Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith will step in on short notice to take on Carlos Ulberg at UFC 303. The City Kickboxing stalwart was scheduled to take on former 205-pound titleholder Jamahal Hill in the pay-per-view showcase, which goes down on June 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. However, Hill was forced to pull out of the fight due to injury.

The card underwent several changes considering the main event required fresh pairing and Ulberg's fight with Smith was bumped down the billing. As it stands, Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka will serve as the marquee attraction while featherweight contenders Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes will assume the co-main event duties.

Weighing in on the upcoming clash against Ulberg in a recent interview with Submission Radio, Smith stated:

"I have a lot of respect for him, and I have a lot of respect for his team. I hope that I don't retire before I have an opportunity to go down there and spend a little bit of time down there and just try to learn from those guys. I just think it'd be a lot of fun. I just have an insane amount of respect for them."

Catch Anthony Smith's comments below:

The No. 5-ranked fighter on the 205-pound ladder for most finishes, Smith, is coming off an emphatic victory over surging prospect Vitor Petrino at UFC 301. Prior to that matchup, the American had lost three fights in five assignments.

Anthony Smith believes a victory over Carlos Ulberg potentially 'lines up' a fight against Alex Pereira

Anthony Smith will share the stage with reigning light heavyweight king Alex Pereira at the UFC 303 billing.

In the past, 'Lionheart' has been critical of Pereira's skillset, labeling it as "limited" while also calling him "mediocre" in other disciplines of the sport. The American has since clarified his stance, stating that he's merely impressed by the trajectory of 'Poatan' and his competence in the striking department.

Speaking about a potential clash with the Brazilian on a recent episode of Michael Bisping's Believe You Me podcast, Smith stated:

“I’m not really thinking about that. I’m just worried about Carlos Ulberg. He’s a tall task. He’s really good at what he does. He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s got a big opportunity in front of him, and I got to remember that when these guys fight me, I’m their world title fight, and they’re trying to make a name off me and I gotta make sure that doesn’t happen. If I cut a promo on Alex Pereira right afterward, that lines up.” [ht/ mmafighting]

Catch Smith's comments from 9:00 below


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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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