Anthony Smith says he would 'smoke' Alex Pereira in a grappling match (Video)

Anthony Smith doesn't think Alex Pereira really wants to grapple with him.
Anthony Smith
Anthony Smith / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

It doesn't look like the beef between Anthony Smith and Alex Pereira is going to die down anytime soon.

While appearing on the MMA Hour on Wednesday, Smith addressed the growing tension between him and the former light heavyweight champion.

“I mean, I would [do it]. But do you think he would? Not a chance, not a chance,” Smith said in response to the call out Pereira made for the two to meet at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational, a grappling event. 

“I think it’s just him taking jabs. You know how it is in this media world, it doesn’t have to be true; you just have to convince people that it’s true, or that you want it to be true," Smith said.

Smith recently faced Pereira's coach, Glover Teixeira. He lost the match, but wasn't submitted.

“I would grapple him in my front yard right now,” Smith said of Pereira. “It doesn’t matter. I would smoke him in a grappling match. But isn’t he supposed to — I don’t know why he’s not talking trash to Jiri [Prochazka]. Like, that’s the guy. I understand trying to drum up some business and drum up some intrigue into what you’re doing and things in the division, but like, someone needs to be in his ear saying, ‘If you’re going to be talking all this s***, you need to do it to the guy that you could be fighting for the title.’”

A brief history of the growing tension between Anthony Smith and Alex Pereira

The squabble all started when Smith reacted to Pereira's light heavyweight debut commenting that he wasn't the "large, scary monster" at 205 that he was in the middleweight division.

Pereira took exception to those comments and went in hard on Smith.

“If there’s one guy doing well and another guy only criticizing, people aren’t stupid,” Pereira said on his YouTube page in August. “They’ll see what’s going on. They’ll see that he’s just a bitter man. The only ones who speak bad about me are Anthony Smith types. Washed-up vets who never amounted to anything, who are still fighting. They’re in a really tight spot or the guy who is still a nobody but those who are already doing well, I don’t see them talking about me, you know? It’s the ones who are beneath me.”

After that Smith responded on his radio show wondering where the anger came from.

“I said a bunch of nice sh*t about you, and you’re going to talk sh*t? I don’t think so,” Smith said just days afterward. “That’s not how this works. Then we’re just going to shake hands when we see each other because you’re doing this media thing because you’re looking for a rival? If you want a f*cking rival, you’ve got one right here. I didn’t do sh*t to you. I’ve been nothing but complimentary of him and his whole team and a lot of his training partners. I don’t know what I did to that guy.”

Now, in September, Smith still doesn't quite know what set off Pereira to begin with.

“I think something got missed in the translation because I did say he’s just a regular guy in the division, but like, I was talking about his size. Like, he’s an average guy at the top of the division as far as his size. He didn’t look that much larger than Jan Blachowicz, and Johnny Walker is 240 [pounds], 250. Aleksandar Rakic is 250. Jiri Prochazka is pretty big. Jamahal Hill is 240, 250. He doesn’t stand out size-wise amongst the 205ers. That was the part of it I think that he got angry about, and I went on to say how special he was as far as being a kickboxer and his striking, and I don’t know, he just got angry.”

Pereira will fight former light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka at the end of the year for the vacant title. So far Smith hasn't been booked so perhaps the two a building up a future fight.

Next. A detailed timeline of every UFC champion since 2000. A detailed timeline of every UFC champion since 2000. dark