Anthony Smith: Wanting to be ‘bigger version of Donald Cerrone’ was my biggest mistake

Anthony Smith says his desire to replicate Donald Cerrone’s attitude has caused inconsistencies in his career.

Smith (36-18 MMA, 11-8 UFC) rematches Ryan Spann (21-8 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 225 co-headliner at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The event streams on ESPN+.

“Lionheart” has had mixed results of late and will look to snap a two-fight skid when he runs things back with Spann. Smith has fought a who’s-who of the division – from current heavyweight champion Jon Jones, to former champ Glover Teixeira, and former title challenger Magomed Ankalaev. Like Cerrone, Smith has gone from challenging for the title, to giving lower ranked guys like Devin Clark an opportunity, which he thinks greatly contributed to his mixed results.

“I’ve just always had the mindset that if you want to be the champion you’ve got to be able to beat everybody,” Smith told ESPN. “I haven’t done that up to this point. I’ve had some hiccups. Here’s my biggest mistake: I’ve always said that I wanted to be like the bigger version of Donald Cerrone: ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anyplace.’ I’ve lived up to that. I’ll take all comers. I’ll fight lower-ranked guys. I’ll fight higher-ranked guys. I’ll fight on short notice. I’ll fight across the world. It doesn’t matter.

“What I didn’t take into account is maybe I’ve absorbed some of the inconsistencies that Donald Cerrone’s seen at times, where I think sometimes I show up and I can beat anybody in the world, and sometimes I’m not as consistent. That’s really my issue. I don’t really care who the opponent is, I’m just worried about trying to be as consistent as possible. I’m on right now, and I can be on for two or three in a row. But for whatever reason, I don’t know if I get distracted or I take my eye off the ball or whatever, then I turn in some stinkers every once in a while, and it sucks.”

Smith’s most recent octagon win came over Spann in September 2021, when he submitted him in Round 1 to earn the “Performance of the Night” bonus.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 225.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie