Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the hurt business this Sat. night (Sept. 18, 2021) with the UFC Vegas 37 “Smith vs. Spann” event on ESPN+, which as the name suggests, is headlined by the light heavyweight showdown between Top 10 combatants Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann.
Smith, who is ranked five spots above Spann at No. 6, insists there is no pre-existing beef between himself and the former “Contender Series” standout, which is why “Lionheart” was so confused as to why a fired-up “Superman” was ranting and raving in one of the promotion’s pre-fight hype videos.
“What a nerd. I just laughed at it the whole time,” Smith told The MMA Hour. “Like, what are you so mad about? It sounds like a bunch of shit that’s bothering him, that he’s got to convince himself. And then at the end he hit me with the old ‘Watchmen’ quote, when Rorschach was in prison: ‘I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me.’ Get out of here, you fucking dork.”
Spann later downplayed his anger — but not his pre-fight scouting report.
“Contrary to apparently Daniel Cormier’s (who also said it) and Ariel Helwani’s beliefs I’m not mad,” Spann wrote on Twitter. “Far from it lol, and Anthony Smith that’s truth (no offense), not a quote from a movie I’ve never seen.”
Smith (35-16) is coming off back-to-back finishes over Jimmy Crute and Devin Clark, the first time “Lionheart has won consecutive fights since battling Jon Jones for the 205-pound strap back in early 2019. As for Spann (19-6), he rebounded from a knockout loss to Johnny Walker by smashing Misha Cirkunov at UFC Vegas 21.
“I respect his abilities, for sure. I respect his attributes. I respect his skills. I just don’t — I guess I don’t talk about him,” Smith continued. “Like, I don’t really know him. I have gotten a vibe that he doesn’t like me. Some of that stuff, that’s his own insecurities. You know what I mean? He’s the one who kept talking about, ‘This is a main event and I’m not nervous.’ Well, you’re the one who keeps talking about it. This is just everyday shit for me. You’re the one who keeps bringing it up.”
To see the rest of the UFC Vegas 37 fight card and lineup click here.