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Anthony Smith reacts to getting bounced from Jamahal Hill Light Heavyweight title fight

Before Jamahal Hill was set to fight for the 205-pound title at UFC 283, he was supposed to fight Anthony Smith in March. Now, Smith is without an opponent and outside the contender’s circle.

Light heavyweight title fights have gotten a bit easy come, easy go these days. Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira became Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev, and after those two fought to a split draw at UFC 282 last night (Sat., Dec. 10, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada, the promotion immediately signed Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira for the still-vacant title in Brazil at UFC 283.

One man who was feeling more than a little left out after that announcement was 205-pound contender, Anthony Smith, who was working with the broadcast team for UFC 282. Following the announcement of Hill vs. Teixeira, a visibly unhappy Smith reacted to the news.

“Uh, yeah that’s a problem. Yeah, that’s a big problem for me. Yeah, I don’t know,” he said. Smith had been booked to face Hill in March 2023, and suddenly found himself without an opponent and outside the title fight equation.

“I have so much respect for you, digesting this news right now,” his co-worker Jon Anik said. “Because as your friend and colleague, to all of a sudden have that Jamahal Hill fight go away, and now he’s going to be fighting Glover Teixeira for the title. I don’t even know what to say, man, to see your reaction off-set. It’s absolutely crazy.”

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UFC’s 2023 PPV DEBUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its New Year pay-per-view (PPV) campaign on Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Glover Teixeira, looking to stop the momentum of surging No. 7-seeded up-and-comer, Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the greatest rivalries in promotional history resumes as Flyweight kingpin, Deiveson Figueiredo, battles interim belt keeper, Brandon Moreno, for a fourth (and likely final) time.

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“It kind of leaves me with nobody, that’s the problem,” Smith said. “Ankalaev just fought, Racik is injured, Blachowicz just fought, Jamahal Hill was left, Glover Teixeira was available and now he’s not....

“We’ll figure it out,” Smith finished. “I don’t know, the London card is coming up, I like London this time of year. I feel like someone owes me a favor right now, so ... I don’t know. We’ll figure it out.”

Unfortunately for Smith, he’s sitting just outside the contender circle and coming off a loss to Magomed Ankalaev for this entire vacant 205-pound title scrum. He and Hill sit at No. 6 and No. 7 in the rankings, respectively, but Hill just happens to be on a three-fight knockout win streak.

Nevertheless, Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira becomes the new main event for UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan. 21, 2023. With the addition, it would appear that the fourth Flyweight fight between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and interim champion, Brandon Moreno, would be bumped down into the co-main event slot. Also on the card: Gilbert Burns vs. Neil Magny, Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker, and Gregory Rodrigues vs. Brad Tavares.

For complete UFC 282 results and coverage click here.

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