Anthony Smith explains why he declined new fight offer immediately after UFC 301 win

Anthony Smith has taken pride in his activity during his UFC career, but this time he thought better of it.

Just days after scoring a first-round submission win to upset previously undefeated Vitor Petrino on Saturday at UFC 301, Smith (38-19 MMA, 13-9 UFC) revealed that matchmakers presented him with another offer to step back in the octagon “soon.”

During many stages of his career, Smith would’ve jumped all over the return. But at 35 and at a precious moment in terms of trying to make another – and perhaps final – run at the title belt, Smith said it wouldn’t be wise.

“I already got another fight offer, and it’s too quick of a turnaround,” Smith said on the “Believe You Me” podcast with Michael Bisping. “I’ve found out it’s nothing physical. It’s (mental). I need to be 100 percent committed, 100 percent focused and dialed in on only that, and I’ve figured out I can only do that for so long. I’m not in my early 20s anymore where I can just keep going back to back. I would have to go back to training camp next week. The thought of that makes me want to slam my head in a f*cking car door.”

Smith, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie light heavyweight rankings, would not reveal the opponent or date he was offered but said it wasn’t at UFC 302 or UFC 303.

Ultimately, Smith knows he could’ve competed again in the presented timeline, but it wouldn’t be in his best interest. He said he wants to spend summer with his children and figured he would resent his decision to jump back into a training camp within the first couple weeks of preparation.

Following his third-round TKO loss to Khalil Rountree in December, which Smith took on short notice and claims he did zero proper training, “Lionheart” vowed to never fight again without the support of a full training camp.

Smith knows he’s treading in shaky waters if he really wants to get another title shot and needs to stack up the right wins in the right ways. He forced his doubters to back off with the two-minute finish of Petrino in Brazil and was pleased to shed some of the narratives he doesn’t have it anymore.

“It was a big sense of relief, because the questions do come in,” Smith said. “Some of it my decision making and some if it is just circumstance. I just kept telling myself, ‘You’re fine. You’re OK.’ Just the way some of my career has gone, it’s up and down, and you get into a little bit of a rut and struggle to get out of it. You can only hear people say it so much to where you listen and you’re like, ‘F*ck, maybe they’re seeing something that I’m missing.'”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 301.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie