UFC Light Heavyweight division fighter Anthony “Lionheart” Smith said Alex “Poatan” Pereira would win the fight against Jiri Prochazka. Unsurprisingly, Smith didn’t deny the idea of Pereira challenging him next, especially with the unpatched beef between them.
The Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira fight is one the biggest highlights of UFC 295 this weekend. Smith, nonetheless, thinks this will end up with a sure win for Pereira. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour,” Smith, without a doubt, affirmed the prediction when asked about it.
On the other hand, Lionheart also didn’t deny the possibility of Poatan picking him for the next fight. Pereira has a huge reason to push this, given the growing conflict between him and Smith. To recall, Smith expressed critical views over Pereira’s performance against Jan Blachowicz during UFC 291. Needless to say, Poatan didn’t take this lightly and called the American “washed up.” Since then, the two have been exchanging shots on social media. Last month, Pereira explained his side to The MMA Hour, claiming the issue started with Smith’s unfair judgment.
“The issue is, he has his job with the UFC commentating,” Pereira said in a translated statement. “He’s got to do what he’s got to do, but we feel that since the beginning, he gives me no credit. For example, I made my debut, I came from Glory, he was like, ‘Yeah, he’s a Glory kickboxer, but now he’s fighting a very tough grappler, [Andreas] Michailidis, he’s going to be a wrestler and everything, it’s going to be too much of a challenge.’ I go and knock the guy out. Then he goes, ‘Oh, but that guy he fought wasn’t tough. He was a nobody. Now he’s going fight Bruno Silva, beat [Alexander] Schlemenko in Russia by knockout, he’s a beast, this is going to be too much for him.’ I go and beat Bruno Silva, and then that’s when [he says with] Sean Strickland… ‘Bruno Silva wasn’t that tough, but Sean Strickland, he’s a challenge right now. It’s not going to be good for him.’ I go and beat Sean Strickland.”
On the possibility of being challenged by Poatan, Smith expressed confidence in accepting the offer in case Jamahal Hill doesn’t enter the scene.
“I definitely think there’s a chance, for sure,” Smith said. “I mean, especially if he wins, looks good doing it, wants a quick turn, I’m ready to go… “If Jamahal’s ready it’s him. I couldn’t expect to jump the line on him.”