Anthony Smith has value as a dog, but we need to be patient
There is no rest for the weary and as bettors we are always looking for the next opportunity to make some cash. The UFC is taking a break, but they will return on Saturday June 1st in Stockholm Sweden with a card headlined by Sweden’s favorite son Alexander “The Mauler’ Gustafsson facing Anthony “Lionheart’ Smith.
These two men share a common last opponent in the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones however the fights were very different and that makes their upcoming bout ver interesting. Alex found himself in a rematch with Jon that was 5 years in the making. Alex pushed a young Jon Jones to the brink in their fight in 2013, but Jon managed to pull out the win and he made it clear that he had not taken Alex seriously in camp and came in fat and happy. Alex was out to prove that he not only should have won their first fight, but he was the man who would finally dethrone Jon and take the 205 lbs strap.
Jon put a finish to that.
Jon Jones came in motivated to prove that the first fight should have never been as close as it was and put a one-sided beating on Gustafsson which lasted a little more than 2 rounds. Jon was able to TKO Gustafsson in the early stages of R3 and put a stamp on that rivalry showing that he was far and away the better fighter.
Anthony Smith on the other hand went all 5 rounds with Jon in his fight earlier this year. He was on the back foot for almost the entire fight, but he was able to minimize the damage Jon did and was able to keep himself from danger for a full 25 minutes with potentially the best fighter to ever grace the Octagon.
I think that Anthony Smith is being underestimated in this match up due to the way he fought Jon. It was a rather disappointing showing for somebody who is known for going after the finish in every single fight. Even when losing he is known to empty the tank in order to have a chance at winning, but against Jones he simply covered up and went away quietly.
Smith is only 30 years old and going 25 minutes with Jon is something he will learn and grow from. Alex is 32 however and he has openly discussed thoughts of retirement and after losing to the holy trinity at light heavyweight in Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson, and Jon Jones. Alex has been largely inactive fighting only once a year from 2016 – 2018 and he has taken large amounts of damage in his losses to the previously mentioned top 3 at 205. Anthony Smith fought 4 times in 2018 going 3-1 and took little to no damage against Jones.
I think that Smith is being overlooked here and Alex may be closer to retirements door than we would expect. At this point I LEAN Anthony Smith, but i’m not ready to make it official. I also think that money will come in on Gus in his home country of Sweden and if that’s the case we will get a better line on Smith if that ends up being the pick.