Alex Pereira is usually not a man of many words, but he had more than a few for fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight fighter, Anthony Smith.
Smith just won an extremely close (and controversial) split decision over Ryan Spann in UFC Singapore’s co-main event this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 26, 2023) in Kallang. In a new video on his YouTube channel, Pereira watched the match and declared it, “kind of a bland fight, not too exciting” and “more or less of a tie.”
Those were the nicest words that came out of his mouth. From there, UFC’s former Middleweight kingpin ripped into “Lionheart” for being critical of other fighters in his side-gigs as ESPN desk analyst and podcaster.
“I see a difficult situation for him, the guy’s coming off two losses if I’m not mistaken, and now a draw,” Pereira said. “What are you gonna do with a guy like this? Well, at least he has a job, he can make money commenting on fights. The guy’s 35, I think he can still fight well, but with the way things are going, I think his situation is kind of tricky.
“Since he’s a commentator, I always see him talking, especially about me,” Pereira continued. “He talks really bad. I don’t know what he has against me. But he criticized other athletes too, saying the athlete didn’t make weight. And [this is] a guy who, in Glover [Teixeira’s] fight in Rio de Janeiro, was a backup, and the guy didn’t make weight. It shows why he’s not that successful ... Glover, as a backup, made weight. But you can see he didn’t take it seriously. He just didn’t make weight.
“He doesn’t show up at the fights,” he added. “I mean, he likes fighting, but doesn’t show up. No one talks about him so he spouts off nonsense just to get some screen time.”
“Sometimes I wonder why he bad-mouths me,” Pereira continued. “I mean, I’ve started to think about it here. I am a newcomer to the organization, enjoying all this success, thanks to God, thanks to my hard work. Always doing the right things so everything is going well. This guy is frustrated because I’m already making money, going for another championship, entering another weight class, and all eyes are now on me, and he’s stuck in a rut. He is, he has to criticize fighters, keep maligning them just for a bit of attention.
“The only ones who speak bad about me are Anthony Smith-types, washed-up vets who never amounted to anything ... those who are doing well, I never see them speaking of me,” Pereira concluded. “It’s just the ones who are beneath me. Or those who tried and failed, bitter souls like Anthony Smith.”
Dang, “Poatan,” tell us how you really feel.
This may seem hyper-critical of Smith, who is literally paid to share his opinions on camera to help promote UFC fights. But, there’s another angle to this as well. The nicest thing a draw like Alex Pereira can do for another fighter is create some heat for a big showdown match-up. So, this video is almost a favor toward Smith: we now have some solid sizzling beef between “Poatan” and “Lionheart.”
Smith will have to find his consistency and keep winning if he wants to cash in a bout with the Brazilian kickboxer. While nothing is official, UFC is rumored to be working on a Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira fight for the vacant 205-pound title.
If UFC goes another direction, No. 3 Pereira vs. No. 8 Smith is right there ... now.
For complete UFC Singapore results, coverage and highlights click HERE.