Anthony Smith’s nickname is a true testament to his way of life, as “Lionheart” continues to excel after 30 MMA pro bouts.
Smith, who turned 26 earlier this year, is coming off a second straight win inside the Bellator cage after scoring a decision vs. Brian Green. He kicked 2014 off with a second round submission of Victor Moreno, and is hoping to see action once more before the year ends.
“We’re looking for a quick turnaround,” said Smith, during an interview with FightLine. “Hopefully the end of November or early December because I’m ready to roll.”
As Smith admits, it’s been a “pretty crazy story” surrounding himself since turning pro at 17 years old. He’s fought for the UFC, Strikeforce and now Bellator, along with several regional promotions.
“I’ve literally grown up and became a man inside the cage before everyone’s eyes,” he said. “Everyone knows the ups and downs as a struggling teenager. Imagine how that affects a MMA career. I’ve had to pull myself off the bottom several times, but I’m still here, still grinding and still very much a threat to anyone in the world. And that threat is growing every day.”
After starting his career with three straight wins, Smith found himself in a bit of a funk. He went 2-6, including four consecutive losses over 2009-10. But a 8-1 mark provided him a shot in the Strikeforce Challengers series.
Smith knocked out Ben Lagman in the second round in 2011 and was paired with UFC veteran Adlan Amagov later that year. He missed weight for that bout and lost, returning to the midwest for a pair of finishes before getting another opportunity with Strikeforce.