Anthony Smith isn’t happy with UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Smith meets former UFC champ Mauricio Rua in the UFC Fight Night 134 main event next weekend in Hamburg, Germany. Ahead of the biggest fight of his career, “Lionheart” stepped up on short notice for Volkan Oezdemir, who was pulled from the headlining spot in favor of a UFC 227 bout against Alexander Gustafsson. Meanwhile, Cormier, who became a two-division titleholder with a first-round knockout of Stipe Miocic last weekend, recently mentioned “Shogun” as a potential next opponent at 205 pounds.
The Nebraska native believes he was overlooked by “DC” when the double champ discussed Rua without acknowledging him — and Smith is rather upset about that.
“I don’t know what’s going on with Daniel Cormier,” Smith told Fightful’s James Lynch. “He’s been saying recently that he thinks ‘Shogun’ is next in line, completely dismissing the fact that ‘Shogun’ has to fight me. I’m not sure what DC’s problem is. He’s smarter than that. He’s an analyst. He knows that anybody can lose at any point in time. He’s also smart enough to know that I’m more than capable of walking right through ‘Shogun.’ He knows that that’s a possibility.
“For him to completely dismiss me, number one, it pisses me off. Number two, it also puts me in a position where, if you think ‘Shogun’ is next in line and I go in and starch ‘Shogun,’ what does that say? Me and you are together now, b-tch.”
Ever since Jon Jones was stripped of the title in 2015, many fans have criticized Cormier’s reign as 205-pound champ for not being legitimate. Cormier held the belt, but wasn’t the best light heavyweight in the UFC, fans argued. The backlash increased after Jones knocked Cormier out in a rematch last summer, only for Cormier to be reinstated as titleholder when Jones failed a drug test.
More recently, ahead of the Miocic superfight at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Cormier said he felt disrespected as the betting underdog.
Back to the Rua situation, Smith thinks Cormier is being a little hypocritical.
“It does put a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, because DC is one of the first guys that b-tches and complains about being overlooked and people not taking him seriously,” Smith said. “But he’s the first person to dismiss people. It’s real easy to sit behind your desk and talk about how you’re not respected, and in the same damn sentence completely disrespect and look over somebody. He’ll look at this, he’ll ignore it, and he’ll pretend like I don’t exist, but regardless, DC knows that the Shogun fight is the gimmick.”