Set to miss out on a proposed December 18. rematch with light heavyweight contender, Aleksandar Rakic due to a knee injury — one-time division title challenger, Anthony Smith has revealed that the UFC offered him a bout with former division best, Jan Blachowicz just hours after the Pole’s title loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267 on the weekend.
Smith, who is in the midst of a three-fight winning spree, last featured at UFC Vegas 37 in September, stopping Ryan Spann in the first round with an impressive, one-sided rear-naked choke win. The stoppage earned Smith a Performance of the Night bonus.
Immediately following his victory, Smith called for a rematch with fellow contender, Rakic in December — which the Austrian-born challenger appeared to welcome, however, he revealed that a knee injury, which led to a staph infection, has likely put the ultimate kibosh on the matchup.
“Long story short, I end up having a lot more problems after the scope and got staph infection in the joint,” Smith told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Now I’m on IV antibiotic for another month, then I have to to back in.“
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“It was a disaster,” Smith said. “For a routine, regular two or three days down and back on my feet. That was two and a half, three weeks ago that I had the original scope. I think three weeks ago. I just now got off crutches two days ago.“
Smith explained that his timeline for a likely Octagon return could be from February to April of next year, as well as claiming the promotion offered him a bout with Blachowicz, just hours after the former champion’s title loss on Saturday.
“I’m kind of liking this Jan Blachowicz fight,” Smith said. “[The UFC] brought it to me that night/ He wants to fight again. He wants to fight soon. I’m not crazy injured. I’m just dealing with a little stuff, infections, so I mean as long as we can get this infection cleared up, I don’t think February’s out of the question.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
Prior to his submission win over Spann in September, the Nebraska veteran scored a first round doctor’s stoppage win over Jimmy Crute at UFC 261 in April after the Australian suffered drop foot — which followed a triangle submission win over Devin Clark.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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