Certainly one of the very interested observers around Dec. 29 if Jon Jones and Alexandergustafsson go to fight for the Lightheavyweight title at UFC 232 will be Anthony Smith.

A former middleweight turned 205-pound competition, Smith snagged a high spot in the UFC’s light heavy weight rankings after his UFC Moncton success over Volkan Oezdemir. Together with his three-fight series of barbarous stoppages across the likes of Oezdemir, Mauricio Rua, also Rashad Evans in tow, “Lion Heart ” is now positioned to potentially challenge to the next 205-pound title shot, and he also left his urge to fight Jones known after his victory over the branch ’s previously No. 2 ranked contender in Moncton.

However, Jones still has a lot of work in front of him in UFC 232.

“I do,” Smith said lately. “I assume it’s likely to be considered a virtually identical struggle, but I believe Jon Jones is just one of those guys who — I presume one of his most significant advantages is his struggle IQ is super high, therefore I presume that if he has 25 minutes to work out you, another 25 moments isn’t going to be more beneficial to you.

“I think that should Jon Jones will be truthful when he said he didn’t train that hard to its first fight [in UFC 165], I would imagine him coming this off lengthy lay off, together with everything ’s happened to him that the best Jon Jones will appear, and I presume that this ’s exactly what he’s likely to need to beat Gustafsson,” Smith added.

Smith, 30, has talked publicly about his desire to challenge Jones next. Before his Oezdemir triumph, Smith uttered a firm belief he was capable of beating Jones, and he doubled down on that belief on the series, stating that other than himself and Gustafsson, he doesn’t find any potential challengers from the 205-pound division that have a real chance of handing Jones the first legitimate lack of his MMA career.

The simple fact that Smith is in the conversation among the 205-pound e lite is an unbelievable story unto itself.

A longtime journeyman at middleweight, “Lion Heart ” begun to show his career in 2013 using the start of a run that’s since seen him triumph 14 of the last 16 fights. The previous three of the fights have been the very striking — since moving around 205 lbs, Smith has quickly established himself as a worldclass competition with a string of damaging successes, culminating in his come-from-behind triumph over Oezdemir. An eternal underdog,” Smith was the gambling underdog against Oezdemir, however he strolled through early trouble and found a way to get it done at UFC Moncton.

“& I ’m only very happy with myself,” Smith stated. “I struggled , really hard, and Volkan’s a lot better than people give him credit for. I am aware that everybody else kind a labels him the One Punch sane guy, however, you notice in there that his ground control was very good when he was at the top in that man position, he forced me to stay safe and be unable to kind a explode there. And he’s much more technical on his feet, in reality, than I expected. I sort of expected him only to be kinda the wild brawler, but he’s a lot better than people give him credit for.

“I did a very great job of not carrying anything super tidy, I rolled together with him much, I managed to pay, but I’d probably state he’s probably just one of those harder hitters I’ve ever fought. ”

In a way, his existing conduct to 205-pound title emptiness has validated exactly what Smith knew to be true of himself during the dark days in his career. So even though his ultimate goal remains unmet, Smith is happy with what he has accomplished thus far.

“You educate your self over the years which, regardless of , you’will get there, you’re likely to get there, you’will get there. And eventually, after a time, you’re just like, ‘Sh*t person, am I going to get there? ’ I’m only proud of myself for only staying with it, and simply staying true from what I said I was going to accomplish, and which has been world champion or die trying, and I think I’m closer today than ever before understanding that. ”

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