Waiting for UFC call, Anthony Smith eyes fights with Brunson, Lombard or Herman


Middleweight Anthony Smith (17-9 MMA, 0-0 UFC) knows he’s technically a UFC fighter – he’s got a contract that proves it. But he doesn’t know when he’ll make his promotional debut.

But if UFC matchmaker Joe Silva needs any help picking an opponent, Smith is happy to offer his assistance: a grudge match with Derek Brunson would be just fine, or perhaps an outing against Hector Lombard or Ed Herman.

“They transferred my contract over to the UFC about two weeks ago, after I got off the injured list from the (Roger) Gracie fight,” Smith told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “We talked to Joe Silva, and he’s just looking for a matchup, so we’re just waiting.

“I told him I’m open to any time. It doesn’t really matter to me. I just want a name and a date. It doesn’t matter. I’ll take anything short notice because I’m back to training full-time, so I’ll be ready whenever they need me to be.”

First on the list is fellow Strikeforce import Brunson, who has become a bit of a Twitter nemesis for Smith after a fan suggested the two be paired together in the UFC octagon.

“It actually originally started before I even fought Roger Gracie,” Smith explained. “There’s a bunch of people that are fans of mine, followers of mine. One person said, ‘I’d like to see you and Derek Brunson fight,’ after he fought Chris Leben.

“A bunch if people jumped on it like, ‘Yeah, that’s a great idea. That’s awesome.’ … Apparently that puckered his butt hole a little bit, but I blew that off.”

Things flared back up a bit this past week, and the two engaged in a bit of Twitter warfare, eventually agreeing to contact UFC matchmakers in hopes of getting Brunson out of a planned UFC on FUEL TV 10 bout with Ronny Markes and into a fight with Smith. That hasn’t happened yet, but if Brunson gets through the Markes bout, Smith would be happy to meet him somewhere down the road.

“I’m the worst matchup for [Brunson] he could possibly ever have,” Smith said. “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If he gets through Ronny Markes – and I don’t think he will, and I would highly doubt he has a job after that – but if he does, and I get through my first fight, let’s set it up and do it.

“I feel like he talks down to me when he says those kind of things like, ‘Ha, ha. Do you really want a fight with me, bro?’ Yeah, I do. I’ll wreck you. Derek doesn’t do anything that impresses me.”

In the meantime, Smith needs an opponent for his UFC debut. He doesn’t necessarily have any more grudges to address, but he does have a few names in mind.

“I really like the Ed Herman fight,” Smith said. “It’s not anything disrespectful. It’s just I really like Ed Herman’s style. What I really want, I really want someone who wants to actually fight. I want someone that I’m going to be able to showcase my skills and be exciting and do what I love to do. I would love the Hector Lombard fight. If Adlan Amagov isn’t already matched up, I’d love that rematch, too. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me. I would love to have a fight with anyone that’s willing to put on a show.

“In order to have those exciting fights, it takes two. If one guy is trying to do his thing and just stay safe, I think everyone knows I live and die by the sword. I’m just there to fight my ass off and do everything I can to make the fans happy. Honestly, I don’t know if I could fight any other way if I had to.”

And so Smith waits for his assignment, though he admits not very patiently. His final Strikeforce appearance behind, Smith is eager to prove he belongs in the UFC.

“I’m sure that Joe Silva is annoyed with me right bow because I’m constantly pushing him,” Smith said. “I just want to fight.”

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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