Devonte Smith: “I want to be the greatest fighter alive, the greatest ever”

Devonte Smith has established himself as one of the sport’s top prospects. Since his 2015 pro debut, the 24-year-old Ohio product is 7-1, with all of his wins coming via stoppage. He’s coming off a 90-second KO victory over UFC vet Justin Edwards earlier this year. The red-hot lightweight recently caught up with FightBookMMA.

How did you find MMA to begin with?

I was following in my older brother’s footsteps. He wanted to be an MMA fighter as far back as I can remember, so I wanted to be an MMA fighter as well. But, what really got me into it though – I was watching Pride one time and it was a Rampage fight. Dude had him in a head triangle, but Rampage just lifted him up and slammed him and knocked him out. This is when I was wrestling in high school, so I thought, “I could do that.” Since then, I’ve got more and more into training for MMA. Even when it was mostly wrestling, I knew that was a big thing I needed in the fight game to be successful. Right out of high school I went to my first gym, which was Brickhouse MMA. Six months later, I had my first fight and it was a first round, thirty second knockout.

How do you feel about your nearly-perfect record?

I feel like it could be a lot better. I’m hung up on the “nearly” part. I have to say that Floyd Mayweather is one of my idols, and I’ve wanted to be perfect in every way. I feel that one loss made me grow and made me more dangerous.

When can fans expect to see you back in the cage?

When the UFC calls me. When I get a that opportunity.

Have you had short-notice opportunities like that in the past?

No, I’m not really big on short-notice fights. It’s not my thing. And it’d have to be worth it. I’m a professional and my record is all that matters. You can’t use, “it was a short-notice fight and that’s why I lost.” There’s some reason you must’ve thought you could beat this guy. If it’s not one of those opportunities where I have got to take the fight to better my life, you won’t see me take those short-notice fights.

If Dana White is reading this, what would you like to tell him?

When are you going to sign me up? I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I’m from the same city as your heavyweight champion, but my goal is to be a lot bigger than that. When should I get started?

How would you like to be remembered as a fighter?

The greatest fighter alive, maybe the greatest fighter ever.

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