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"It's a really good place to be" - Anthony Smith is happy for not being in the main event spot at UFC 261

Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith
Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 24 Apr 2021
News

Anthony Smith is happy about not being in the main event spot for the eighth consecutive time.

Ahead of his UFC 261 fight, which will be the first fight on the main card portion of the PPV, Anthony Smith spoke to The Schmo on multiple topics. Smith and The Schmo notably discussed the fact that the UFC 261 fight will be his first non-main event spot in a long time.

The Schmo said, "Speaking of performances, this is the first time in what four straight fights you are headlining UFC Fight Nights. Finally back on the pay-per-view style cards, and you’re kicking things off against Jimmy Crute.”
Anthony Smith responded by stating, “It was seven straight; seven straight main events.”
Smith proceeded to explain that not being in the main event of the fight card has proven to be beneficial for him in the lead-up to his upcoming fight. Lionheart said, “And it’s a really good place to be. Like, I’m happy that I can just sit back in the cut. No one’s too worried about me. I think the pay-per-view opener is an important spot on the card. I think that they put us there for a reason. I think they want to get people sucked into the event. They want to start the energy high and deservingly so. There’s four incredible fights ahead of me, and those guys are exactly where they need to be.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Anthony Smith had words of high praise for his fellow UFC 261 fighters, including the main card fighters in the middleweight fight and three title fights – all of which are set to transpire after Smith’s main card opening fight.

Anthony Smith has been in seven main event spots in as many appearances over the past few years

Anthony Smith (left); Jimmy Crute (right)
Anthony Smith (left); Jimmy Crute (right)

A professional MMA competitor since 2008, the 32-year-old Anthony Smith is regarded as one of the craftiest veterans in the UFC light heavyweight division today. Smith rose to prominence after securing an impressive stoppage win over MMA legend Rashad Evans in June 2018. Following this, every fight Smith has competed in has been the headline fight of the card.

Anthony Smith’s first UFC main event spot saw him defeat MMA legend Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via first-round KO at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Smith (July 2018). Smith’s next fight was a third-round submission win over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night: Volkan vs. Smith (October 2018).

This was followed by Anthony Smith facing Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 235 (March 2019). Smith lost the fight via unanimous decision. Lionheart then defeated Alexander Gustafsson via fourth-round submission at UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Smith (June 2019).

Following this, Anthony Smith suffered a fifth-round TKO loss against Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira (May 2020). Smith’s next fight ended in yet another loss, this time against Aleksandar Rakic via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic (August 2020).

Anthony Smith succeeded in returning to his winning ways in his most recent octagon outing, defeating Devin Clark via first-round submission at UFC on ESPN: Smith vs. Clark (November 2020). Now set to compete in his 51st professional MMA fight, Anthony Smith faces rising Australian MMA star Jimmy Crute at UFC 261 (April 24th, 2021).

Published 24 Apr 2021
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