We don't need to see Alex Pereira versus Anthony Smith grapple

Alex Pereira vs Anthony Smith should happen in the cage or not at all.
Alex Pereira and Anthony Smith
Alex Pereira and Anthony Smith / UFC

UFC fighters Anthony Smith and Alex Pereira have been trading insults for a while now. At first, it seemed to be just in good fun but now that the two are in the same weight class and Pereira holds a title, it's getting a bit more serious.

In the lead-up to his UFC 301 fight with Vitor Petrino, Smith took every opportunity to poke the bear that is Pereira. It seems to have started after Smith downplayed the talent of Pereira who came back with trash talk of his own leading to where we are now.

In a recent interview Pereira placed a $50,000 bet for he and Smith to compete in a grappling match. This comes after Smith and Glover Teixeira, Pereira's coach, competed at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational.

While speaking in his post-fight interview after defeating Petrino via submission, Smith seems up for the challenge.

“Alex Pereira said he would put up $50,000, and I start off his back,” Smith said. “So I start off his back, hooks in, and I’ve got 5 minutes to finish him, and he wants to put $50,000 on it. I’ll take his $50,000. I’ll take his money. … If I start off his back, I’ll choke the sh*t out of him."

As fun as this fight might seem, it's pointless. The outcome could take the steam out of a potential legitimate MMA fight down the line if Pereira remains champion and Smith can climb back up the ranks. If this grappling nonsense does happen it kills a bit of the "what if" or excitement around what could happen in the cage. The only way the grappling fight makes sense is if it's the absolute only option to see these square off. And that's not where we're at right now.

These two should be pushing for an MMA fight ... they are MMA fighters after all and leave the grappling for when one or both of them retire.

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