A 21-fight veteran, Smith believes he can use his experience advantage to defy the bookmakers on Friday night and send Koreshkov packing in their quarterfinal matchup at Bellator 74, which emanates from Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., and airs on MTV2.
“I've always felt like I've performed better as an underdog, so when I see people talking on websites about how I'm supposed to lose to Andrey Koreshkov, that's fine with me,” Smith recently told Sherdog.com. “If people have only seen my last fight, I could understand that, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't make much sense. I have more experience. I've fought and beat better guys than he has. I'm morewell rounded, and I'm smarter than he is.”
Smith's most recent outing came on March 30 against David Rickels, who promptly spoiled the 27-year-old's Bellator debut by knocking him cold in the Season 6 quarterfinals. Though Rickels turned out Smith's lights in just 22 seconds, Smith believes the setback has taught him a valuable lesson about risk versus reward in the cage.
“If you catch me with something, it makes me angry and it makes me want to hurt you. That's just how I was wired,” said Smith. “I just need to be smart about it. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm not going to be in wars anymore. Most of the time when me and my opponent start exchanging punches, that's when I win.
“At the same time, it's kind of like rolling the dice, because whoever catches the other guy first is all that matters,” he continued. “In my last fight against David Rickels, my hook just missed his chin right before his hit me right on the button. It's a coin toss when you're exchanging with guys at this level. That's not how I need to fight. I'm better than that. I need to fight smarter, and that's the plan in this tournament.”
Known for his versatile standup attack, Koreshkov has thus far notched seven knockout victories among his 10 career finishes. An apprentice to Bellator middleweight title contender Alexander Shlemenko, the unbeaten 23-year-old has proved dangerous with a number of unconventional attacks, an aspect of the bout for which Smith says he is well prepared.
Despite his new outlook on going toe-to-toe, Smith still plans to pressure Koreshkov as a means of disrupting the Russian's offense and putting him on his heels.
“It's not that I'm going to be overly cautious in this fight, I just can't fight stupid angry. I think I'm way better than him at the wrestling and jiu-jitsu aspects of the sport, and that's something I'll be looking to exploit on fight night,” said Smith. “He doesn't like to be pressured, and he likes to keep his distance. Guys who have fought him before got intimidated by his unorthodox kicks and all the fancy s--t he likes to do, but I plan on getting in his face, making him as uncomfortable as possible and hurting him.”view original article >>
Bellator fighters Fedor Emelianenko, Noad Lahat, and Haim Gozali, along with Royce Gracie, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. read news >>
Referee Marc Goddard has broken his silence just days after an altercation with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in Ireland at Bellator 187. The situation unfolded after Goddard appeared to st read news >>
Referee Marc Goddard had a lot to say about the Conor McGregor melee at Bellator 187.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Bellator 193’s main event will be an all-California affair.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Bellator MMA has announced plans to host a year-long grand prix heavyweight tournament in 2018 featuring eight of the roster’s biggest stars. read news >>
Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix might be absolutely crazy. But at the same time, that’s what makes it so lovable.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos read news >>
Bellator returns to Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif. for Bellator 193 headlined by Lorenz Larkin and Fernando Gonzalez in a catchweight bout. read news >>
Bellator is making the most of its time overseas, with Bellator 188 taking place Thursday in Tel Aviv, Israel.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
John Salter (14-3) turns his attention towards facing Jason Radcliffe (12-4) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel. read news >>
The weigh-ins are in the books for this week’s Bellator 188 event, and the fighters on the main card all hit their marks.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>