Following his submission victory over Oezdemir to move to 3-0 since jumping up to light heavyweight, Smith (31-13 MMA, 7-3 UFC) laid it out straight to Reyes (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and the rest of the contenders in his weight class.
“I’m going to go ahead and get this out here now: I’ve said that I’ll fight anyone, anytime, any place, but I also said that I need a break,” Smith told reporters that night. “I don’t want any of these idiot 205ers that are ranked in the division – nothing against Dominick Reyes, but I can see it now. As soon as I get home on Monday they’re going to be calling for a fight, and I already said I needed a break, and they’re going to use this as an opportunity to say that I’m turning fights down. I’m telling you guys right now: I’m taking a (expletive) break. I need a goddamn break.”
Reyes, No. 10 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, didn’t call out No. 11 Smith the Monday after the fight, but it did happen. This week, Reyes emerged on social media and claimed “Lionheart” declined a matchup with him at UFC 233, which takes place Jan. 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim (via Twitter):
Hey @lionheartsmith, I was told u turned me down for a #1 contender fight in Jan/233 bc ur hand’s sore, so I guess you HAVE excuses. Heal up, let’s do it in Feb or March, you pick! I’m gonna test that “lionheart”! #devastated #earnit #notthatman
Although Reyes is coming off a quality win against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 229 in October, it should surprise no one that Smith is gunning for a bigger opportunity. Smith has beaten Oezdemir, as well as former UFC champs Mauricio Rua and Rashad Evans, since moving up to 205 pounds in June, and now he wants to fight for the title.
At this point, Smith believes he’s done enough to challenge the winner of UFC 232’s title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, and he made that much clear in a fiery series of responses to Reyes (via Twitter):
Don’t turn down fights w/Blachowicz & Manuwa then pretend you want to fight me.
Makes you look both afraid and thirsty.
Your name ain’t Jones or Gus, last I checked.
SLOW your STROLL,
Given the tone of Smith’s response, it’s safe to say he doesn’t have any interest in taking a fight with Reyes, and given where he stands in the divisional pecking order, it’s hard to blame him.
For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Anthony Smith rips 'cowardly troll' Dominick Reyes for claiming he declined UFC 233 spot