Anthony Smith vows to 'drill a hole' through '(expletive) piece of (expletive)' Luke Rockhold's face
Smith’s heated reaction to a question about Luke Rockhold, though, may just have gotten fans excited about a different match-up.
“That guy is a (expletive) piece of (expletive),” Smith said. “(Expletive) Luke Rockhold. The first opportunity I get, I’m going to drill a hole through Rockhold’s (expletive) face. I promise you guys that.”
That’s not the type of remark one commonly hears from a generally laid-back fighter like Smith. But, as it turns out, “Lionheart” and Rockhold have some history. It started months before Smith’s failed UFC 235 title bid against champion Jon Jones.
In a chat with Submission Radio this past December, in which Rockhold talked about being done with the middleweight division, he took aim at the light heavyweight contenders. That list included Smith, who he said “looked like a bum” in a fight against Volkan Oezdemir. Later, on “The MMA Hour,” Rockhold said Jones should “quit wasting time on fighters like Anthony Smith” and move up to heavyweight.
Smith, who heard about Rockhold’s comments from “everyone and their mom,” didn’t take kindly to it at the time. Smith said he didn’t even know Rockhold and had never said a word about him and didn’t understand why he would come at him in such fashion.
“I would fight that guy anywhere,” Smith told host Luke Thomas on his SiriusXM show. “I would fight that guy in Aisle 5 of Walmart.”
Rockhold told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani how unimpressed he was with both Jones and Smith in their five-round title contest. He said Smith was “just trying to exist” and that, if he were Jones, he would have finished “Lionheart.”
The question that set Smith off during today’s press conference in Atlanta was about Rockhold’s move up to 205 and his dismissiveness toward the Jones vs. Smith affair.
Rockhold (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC), a former middleweight champion, is now officially part of the light heavyweight division. He’s set to meet Jan Błachowicz on July 6, at UFC 239 – the same card in which Jones will defend the 205-pound crown against Thiago Santos.
Smith (31-14 MMA, 7-4 UFC), in turn, will venture into enemy territory when he meets Gustafsson (18-5 MMA, 10-5 UFC) in Stockholm, on June 1st. The light heavyweight bout will headline the card at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm.
Hopefully they’ll steer clear of the Walmart aisle. But, as Smith made clear today, his eagerness to fight Rockhold remains the same.
“The first opportunity I get, after this fight, doesn’t matter what happens,” Smith said. “I’ll fight Luke Rockhold on one (expletive) leg. I’m going to beat that dude’s (expletive) ass.”