UFC 301’s Anthony Smith ‘offended’ Vitor Petrino called him out

    Anthony Smith is tired of rising contenders trying to use him as a stepping stone.

    Vitor Petrino (11-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) called out Smith (37-19 MMA, 12-9 UFC) after beating Tyson Pedro less than two weeks ago at UFC Fight Night 238. He got his wish, and will face the former title challenger at UFC 301 on May 4 in Rio.

    Smith is bothered by undefeated Petrino’s callout. After spending years facing former champions and the division’s upper echelon, “Lionheart” has recently been fighting down the rankings. He vows to make fighters think twice before calling him out.

    “I’m offended,” Smith said on MMA on SiriusXM’s MMA Today. “Why didn’t he call out someone higher ranked? Why didn’t he call out (Aleksandar) Rakic? As far as timelines go, Rakic is going to be fighting soon. That would be a little closer to your timeline, in terms of two guys that are fighting around the same time. Why didn’t you call out Rakic or Volkan Oezdemir? Why didn’t you call out any of those guys? Because you think you can beat me. You’re not sure about the other ones and that pisses me off.

    “I’m not done. I’m not the old wounded lion that’s just pacing around waiting to be killed by the younger ones. That’s not me. I refuse to be the new Neil Magny. That’s three guys in a month and a half that have fought, won, and called me out. All unranked, all young guys. We’re going to dead this right in its tracks. Call me a gatekeeper. Call me whatever the hell you want to call me, but here’s the fact: I’ve been fighting inside the top 10 for a very long time and have been fighting in the rankings in two different weight classes for a very long time.”

    Smith is no stranger to shutting down rising contenders. He spoiled Devin Clark’s first main event by submitting him, finished Jimmy Crute, and defeated Ryan Spann twice – and he plans on continuing to stake his claim as a top light heavyweight.

    “If your favorite fighter isn’t already in the top 10, he won’t be until I’m gone,” Smith said. “F*cking like it or not, that’s just the life that we live in right now. I’ve got a career plan with where I’m headed and it starts with shutting these young guys up, and then we’ll go to the next one. …My plan, when this is all done, is to not have another young guy open his f*cking mouth with my name in it again.”

    For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 301.

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