“I would imagine every fight that he’s had since (Lyoto) Machida,” Smith told MMAjunkie.
Jones’ unbeatable aura saps his opponents’ will to win, making them easy targets for his many weapons, Smith believes.
But, he adds, “That’s just not me.”
A lot of people think otherwise, and they’ve made those opinions known since the announcement of a pay-per-view headliner of UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Smith, they say, is nothing more than a mile-marker on Jones’ three-fight sprint in 2019.
“I think it’s goddamn amazing that all these people are assuming that if me and Jon Jones fight, he’s going to get me out of there in one round,” said Smith.
This isn’t just the challenger’s first UFC title fight – it’s his first dealing with Jones fans who stick by the UFC light heavyweight champ, love, hate and all.
“He doesn’t hit any harder than (Volkan) Oezdemir and Hector Lombard,” Smith said. “He’s not any better of a wrestler, for the most part, of guys that I’ve fought. And he’s not any better a jiu-jitsu guy that all the guys I’ve fought. He puts it together better than anyone that’s in the game right now. But he doesn’t wow me anywhere, especially the fight that he just had.”
Where fans and observers saw Jones get right back in his groove after a 15-month layoff courtesy of a second anti-doping violation, Smith saw a fighter who’d lost his step.
“I wasn’t impressed,” he said. “And I don’t mean it wasn’t a fantastic performance, because it was. But I didn’t watch the fight and think, I couldn’t handle that. I saw a guy that has holes that can be exploited as long as you attack it in the right way.
“I also saw a guy that wasn’t nearly as arrogant. Jon’s biggest attribute is his genuine delusion. Jon is genuinely so delusional and so arrogant that he is unbeatable that it works in his favor, and he almost creates the illusion that is. He fights with this complete arrogance and disregard for his opponents. And if he loses that, he loses a lot of his ability.”
The world would have seen the same, Smith continues, if the Alexander Gustafsson that showed up in a 2014 fight with Jones also showed up at UFC 232. Of course, Jones and his team have claimed he didn’t train for the first fight.
Whether or not Jones is the same fighter that’s dominated the light heavyweight division for eight years, Smith promises he’s the one that will find the champ’s chin. And the reason he will is because he doesn’t put Jones on a pedestal.
“I just don’t care,” he said. “Throw whatever you want. If I’m up, I’m moving forward and we’re fighting. No one thinks they have the answer for Jon Jones, and I don’t think that I really need the answer. I just think I need to do what I always do. I don’t have a style, or gameplan. I just go in there and fight.
“Jon is one of those guys that thrives in danger, and I think that’s going to work against him at some point in time,” he said. “Eventually, someone’s going to catch up to Jon. His game is too crazy. You can’t be reckless forever, and I think I’m the guy.”
If Smith’s prediction comes true, he’ll be in very rare air as a UFC light heavyweight – not only will he be champion, but the first man to truly defeat Jones. Many fighters might consider the latter the biggest accomplishment, but for him, it’s the former.
“Nobody remembers the guy who beat Dan Gable, but I know his name,” Smith said. “I don’t really give a (expletive) that people remember that Anthony Smith is the first guy to beat Jon Jones. I just want to leave there with the title.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Anthony Smith: It's amazing people assume Jon Jones will beat me in first at UFC 235