Anthony Smith wanted to become the light heavyweight version of Donald Cerrone.
The lightweight “Cowboy,” who retired from active competition last summer, was known for his willingness to fight anyone on the UFC roster at any time. Heck, Cerrone would even fight your mom, if that’s what the promotion paid him to do.
Smith tried to mirror that approach in his own career.
“I’ve just always had the mindset that if you want to be the champion you’ve got to be able to beat everybody,” Smith told ESPN (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “I haven’t done that up to this point. I’ve had some hiccups. Here’s my biggest mistake: I’ve always said that I wanted to be like the bigger version of Donald Cerrone: ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anyplace.’ I’ve lived up to that. I’ll take all comers. I’ll fight lower-ranked guys. I’ll fight higher-ranked guys. I’ll fight on short notice. I’ll fight across the world. It doesn’t matter.”
For all the success Cerrone had, a direct result of his tireless combat sports schedule, he also suffered his share of setbacks. “Cowboy” (36-17, 2 NC) ended his hall-of-fame MMA career with 17 losses, getting finished 10 times along the way.
Smith has been finished 14 times in 18 losses.
“What I didn’t take into account is maybe I’ve absorbed some of the inconsistencies that Donald Cerrone’s seen at times, where I think sometimes I show up and I can beat anybody in the world, and sometimes I’m not as consistent,” Smith continued. “That’s really my issue. I don’t really care who the opponent is, I’m just worried about trying to be as consistent as possible. I’m on right now, and I can be on for two or three in a row. But for whatever reason, I don’t know if I get distracted or I take my eye off the ball or whatever, then I turn in some stinkers every once in a while, and it sucks.”
Smith is looking to erase the memory of his last “stinker” against Johnny Walker by taking out light heavyweight rival Ryan Spann for a second time in the UFC Singapore co-main event this Sat. (Aug. 26, 2023) on ESPN+ from inside Singapore Indoor Stadium.
For much more on this weekend’s UFC Singapore card click here.