Anthony Smith: Alex Pereira light heavyweight title fight lines up with UFC 303 win

Anthony Smith thinks he could be on Alex Pereira’s radar if they’re both victorious at UFC 303.

In the June 29 headliner at T-Mobile Arena, UFC light heavyweight champion Pereira (10-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches Jiri Prochazka. Meanwhile, Smith (38-19 MMA, 13-9 UFC) meets rising contender Carlos Ulberg.

With Smith and Pereira having previously gone back-and-forth, Michael Bisping pitched the idea of them potentially fighting each other after UFC 303. “Lionheart” thinks he could get that fight if he gets past Ulberg.

“I’m not really thinking about that. I’m just worried about Carlos Ulberg,” Smith said on the “Believe You Me” podcast with Michael Bisping. “He’s a tall task. He’s really good at what he does. He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s got a big opportunity in front of him.

“And I’ve got to remember that when these guys fight me, I’m their world title fight, and they’re trying to make a name off of me and I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen. I think he’s got an incredible skill set on his feet. … If I cut a promo on Alex Pereira right afterwards, it lines up.”

Smith praised Pereira for saving the UFC 303 main event after Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler was scrapped. But with Pereira having already beaten Prochazka before, Smith thinks the opponent played a part in the him taking the short notice offer.

“What he’s doing is crazy,” Smith said. “I just can’t believe that he’s out on this tour in Australia, hanging out, letting his toes heal up, and he’s like, ‘Two weeks? Yeah. Let’s do it.’ OK, I love that. I think it was probably very matchup-specific.

“He wouldn’t probably have taken this fight with Magomed (Ankalaev) or – and I’m not trying to hype myself, but probably not with me just because there’s a different skill set. He’s already trained for Jiri one time before, so he’s familiar with him. There’s not the stress and shock and awe of the unknown, so he already knows what he’s getting himself into.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie