Over the weekend, Anthony Smith was in Atlanta, Ga. to attend the UFC’s seasonal press conference, in anticipation of his main event fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Stockholm on June 1. But despite the fact that Smith has a bout against the top-ranked light-heavyweight contender coming up, it was his beef with former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold that stole the show.
Smith called Rockhold a “f*ckin’ piece of shit,” and promised “to drill a hole through Luke Rockhold’s f*ckin’ face” the next time he sees him. Not one to sit by quietly, Rockhold responded over the weekend, telling TMZ Sports that he wanted to fight Smith but “Lionheart” kowtowed to the UFC instead of getting the fight they both wanted.
“The truth hurts,” Rockhold said. “I don’t know. Some people just can’t take the truth and that’s a problem, I always tell it. He can keep talking, keep running his mouth, but he had his opportunity. He could have manned up instead of being a b*tch and being an errand boy for the UFC.
“There’s balls to take fights and there’s balls to not take fights. I saw his interview and he obviously didn’t want to take this fight [with Gustafsson]. He wanted to take some time off. He could’ve done that. Could’ve stuck to your word because I would have been right here. First thing I asked the UFC after that fight, make this thing happen. Then he b*tched out and ran their errands and went out to Stockholm.”
Rockhold has been critical of Smith’s career since Smith rose to prominence last year after moving up to 205 pounds, saying he didn’t understand how Smith got a title shot and that he wasn’t even a top-10 middleweight before moving up. Smith wasn’t the only light heavyweight Rockhold took shots at – the former middleweight champion opined on the talent level of most of the top light heavyweights and came to the conclusion that the division was “there for the taking” – but he was the target of some of Rockhold’s harshest criticisms and the guy Rockhold said he most wanted to face for his light heavyweight debut.
“He was the first option, for sure,” Rockhold said. “It would’ve been fun. Put him away like Jon couldn’t and it would’ve been great. The kid runs his mouth, he gets all bent out of shape like a rookie. Truth hurts, baby. Truth hurts!
“He better focus on the fight coming up because my opinion is, he’s about to get his ass kicked. So go out there, go take your ass-whooping and come talk to me afterwards.”
Rockhold has his own fight to focus on as well. The former middleweight champion will be making his light heavyweight debut against Jan Blachowicz af UFC 239 in July. After that, he hopes to fight Jon Jones sooner rather than later. But if a fight with Smith does come to fruition, he’s not all that concerned about Smith’s promise to “drill a hole” through his face.
“I don’t think much of Anthony Smith,” Rockhold concluded. “I don’t think he’s very tough, technical, talented. He ain’t got what it takes. It would be an embarrassment to Anthony Smith. He’s not gonna be drilling nothing. [Laughs]. I will own that kid from start to finish anywhere he wants to go. He’s not really on my radar. I’m gonna go do my thing and I’ll enjoy watching him get beat up in Stockholm.”
Results. Israel Adesanya, Kelvin Gastelum, Max Holloway, and Dustin Poirier put on two of the best fights you’ll see all year at UFC 236.
Next up. Dana White: Dustin Poirier will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov next.
Cejudo. Henry Cejudo says he’ll never fight T.J. Dillashaw again: ‘I want no part of him’.
Well-earned, Ace. Rich Franklin to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame.
New era. Dana White addresses fan issues watching first UFC pay-per-view on ESPN+.
UFC 236 Post-fight show.
LFA 63 highlights.
The new champ talking about his tattoos.
Woodley on the Lawler rematch.
Pretty solid recap of Dustin vs. Max.
6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 236.
Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 236, the upcoming UFC schedule, and T.J. Dillashaw.
Life is chutes and ladders. Sometimes we gotta take that slide down to get to the next big ladder. It is what it is. We keep playing. We keep fighting. Congrats to Dustin and Jolie. They should’ve already had a belt. Diamonds are forever pic.twitter.com/9IKYoZAg1P
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 14, 2019
Thank you Max. You are a Champion. It was an honor to share that battle
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 14, 2019
Can’t thank everyone enough for the love and support in the last 24 hrs! Gonna get my body and face healed up! I’ll only get better from this! God bless everyone. Mission 4 Gold continues!!
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) April 15, 2019
I left it all out there. @stylebender was the better man last night ! Congratulations to him. I know our paths will cross again! This set back as well as all my other setbacks have made me a better person and mixed martial artist. Im so excited for the future #OnAmission4Gold pic.twitter.com/HzU22GXyvg
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) April 15, 2019
Conor is a terrible matchmaker.
Amazing main event fights. How fighting should be!
Max you are insanely tough!
Please rest up now young Uce, you are a warrior head to toe!
A champion FOREVER.
Congratulations Dustin on a much deserved UFC title to your career.
It is Nate next for you like previously scheduled.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 14, 2019
I still can’t get over the main and co-main fights last night ! 2 of the best fights I have ever seen one right after the other. Congrats to all 4 of them warriors! #ufc236
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) April 15, 2019
The WEC was awesome.
Henry by armbar.
Team Matt Brown for life.
We need pride back where if you wanted to juice you could just fight there and it made for awesome fights. I’m not against steroids by the way I’m against breaking rules in our sport
— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) April 13, 2019
I just hope you guys test Pedro properly for this fight. I completely forgot his suspension back in 2015 for his testosterone metabolites.
Dana White said he didnt know you guys weren’t testing for EPO. Well I want that done too. No shortcuts to victory!@usantidoping @USADA_UFC
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) April 14, 2019
Mike Shipman (13-1) vs. Costello Van Steenis (11-1); Bellator London, June 22.
John Redmond (7-13) vs. George Tokkos (4-0); Bellator London, June 22.
Nathan Greyson (6-3) vs. Frans Mlambo (6-4); Bellator London, June 22.
2006: Tim Silva won the UFC heavyweight title for the second time, knocking out Andrei Arlovski in their rematch at UFC 59.
2010: Ben Askren made his Bellator debut, submitting Ryan Thomas with a guillotine at Bellator 14 to advance to the semifinals of their welterweight tournament.
2017: Demetrious Johnson submitted Wilson Reis with a third-round armbar to retain his flyweight title at UFC on FOX 24.
That was a wild, wild weekend. The Fight of the Year. Another fight that would’ve easily been considered a FOTY front-runner, and Tiger winning the Masters. I don’t know about y’all but I’m spent.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Should the UFC have booked Rockhold-Smith?
No, I like these fights better.
They should still book it now. Scrap there current plans and let’s settle this
572 votes total
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook!