Not so long ago Anthony Smith was fighting for the light-heavyweight title after a successful transition from middleweight, but recent losses now have him considering a drop back down to 185lbs.
“I think I’ve got some big decisions to make in my career and figure out where we go from here,” Smith said after a decision loss to Aleksander Rakic on Saturday night. “It’s super frustrating to lose to a guy that you feel that you can beat.
“I don’t know. 185’s still really tough. It’s a total lifestyle change and it’s year round. It’s not one of those things where I can get into camp and change my diet and cut down. It’s a complete lifestyle change.
“I guess that’s one of the options. I guess the other option is to take some time off and get bigger. I don’t know. I’ve got some things to decide on.”
In total, Smith has now lost three of his last four fights at 205lbs, including his decision loss to Jon Jones and a TKO defeat against Glover Teixeira, though inbetween those two he did pick up a submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson.
It’s a significant change in fortune for the 32-year-old, whose light-heavyweight run had began with back-to-back KO victories against 205lb legends Rashad Evans and Maurico ‘Shogun’ Rua, followed by a submission victory against Volkan Oezdemir.
Now his most recent results have left him feeling like he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place – too big for middleweight, but too small for light-heavyweight.
“I’ve never been one of the guys that is out here pining and calling for more weight classes but my last couple fights, it’s kind of where my brain goes. I’m just too big for 185 and you start getting to these bigger, stronger, taller, longer guys, they’re just so strong. He wasn’t passing my guard. He wasn’t putting me in danger on the ground. I just couldn’t get up.
“I couldn’t get his hands apart. I couldn’t get his head off my chest to make any space to do anything. He wasn’t overly offensive. I even was releasing posture on his head to hope that he would posture up to punch so I could at least make some space to get up.
“Listen, he fought a great game plan. He did everything he had to do to win.”