Tonight Omaha, Nebraska’s own Anthony Smith will be headlining Victory Fighting Championships first card of the 2016 lineup,VFC 47, which is the first event of a planned 8 card year, in which you’ll be able to watch all of the events on UFC’s online viewing platform, UFC Fightpass. This card will also be the 1st event for Victory at the brand new Baxter Arena, moving from their previous home at the Ralston Arena.
Anthony Smith, or Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, is on a 6 fight win streak and after a change of opponent a couple of weeks ago, he will be facing non other than the man who gave him his last loss, Josh “The Dentist” Neer, for the VFC Middleweight Title. Smith trains at Mick Doyle’s gym, in Omaha, alongside Kassius Kayne and Cody Land, with coaches Matthew Bentley and Mick Doyle. We caught up with Smith and asked him about his feelings about the change of opponent and a little about why he had his opponent changed.
MF ~ You had a change of you opponent at the last moment, how does this change how you approach the fight?
AS ~ I stopped specifically game planning for opponents over two years ago. We focus on presenting the best mixed martial artist and athlete that we can the night of the fight. When you’re sitting at the head of table, you dictate what gets put on it. They’re in there with me, not the other way around. People go swimming with sharks, you’ve never heard anyone say they’re going out to let the Sharks swim with them.
MF ~ Typically people lose opponents to injury or other circumstances. This was a little different what happened and do you feel snubbed?
AS ~ My opponent was signed to the UFC two weeks prior to our fight. I’m not sure snubbed is the correct feeling but I’m very angry. The UFC knows what they are doing and nothing is an accident but it’s clear they signed the wrong guy. And after his performance…it’s clear to them as well.
MF ~ You have faced Neer previously and came out on the wrong side of that fight. Although winning this doesn’t give you that loss back what does it mean to you to prove yourself?
AS ~ Anyone who knows me, knows what in capable of. I’m not gonna sit here and make excuses. The Anthony Smith that fought Josh Neer over two years ago is long gone. I don’t need to defend something that doesn’t excuse anymore. This win over Josh only solidifies my team, my supporters, and my family already know to be true.
MF ~ I know that there is some animosity between you and Neer, but you have to have some respect that he stepped up and took this fight when Elvis had to pull out.
AS ~ I have no animosity towards him. He’s been fighting so long, he probably has to make up some sort of conflict to get up for it. He’s called me his “old rival” haha. Whatever you say bro. And if it wasn’t him that took it, some other idiot would have. He’s trying to get paid and be relevant, I get it.
MF ~ After seeing Elvis’s performance this in the UFC what do you have to say to Joe Silva, about giving him the opportunity and not you?
AS ~ I’m here patiently waiting whenever you need someone who’s for real.
Be sure to tune in tonight for a great card featuring a great list of fights. Complete card below.
VFC 47 Professional Card
Live on UFC Fightpass