Anthony Smith itching for next UFC booking, says ‘it has to be something that I deem as fun’

Anthony Smith has some conditions around his next UFC matchup.

Smith (37-19 MMA, 12-9 UFC), a former light heavyweight title challenger, is coming off a third-round TKO loss to Khalil Rountree in a short-notice bout at UFC Fight Night 233 this past December. He’s 1-3 in his past four fights, and there’s a degree of importance around his next one.

He’s looking to get something on the books in the coming months but admits he’ll first need to drop some weight before jumping into a training camp.

“I’m ready to fight,” Smith said on his “Believe You Me” podcast with co-host Michael Bisping. “It kind of just hit me. Not fight, fight, but ready to start finding a fight. Pick up the workouts a little bit. I’m fat. I’ve got this belly hanging over the pants. I was 237 like a week ago. I’m heavy. When I’m off, I’m off. I’m all the way off.”

As Smith, 35, shifts his mental and physical state toward the direction of competition, he is moving away from his usual philosophy of taking anything UFC matchmakers throw his way.

Smith, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie light heavyweight rankings, said he is keen to enter a situation that makes his pulse beat a little faster than normal. He doesn’t know who or what would generate that feeling, but he’s confident when it comes up, he’ll know it’s right.

“I’ve been trying to change my mindset a little bit, and there’s a couple things that matter,” Smith said. “The name doesn’t really matter – how I feel about it really matters. I want something that’s exciting. And maybe divisionally it doesn’t make sense, I don’t know. I don’t care if they’re ranked. I don’t care if they’re not ranked, ranked high. I don’t care who it is. It has to be something that I deem as fun. And I know that’s really stupid, but when I hear the name I want it to be exciting. I want it to be like, ‘Oh, that would be fun.’

“I need something that’s fun, and I want to look forward to it. The danger factor doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t care how hard the fight’s going to be. I want it to be someone that gets me excited, and I want it to be somewhere that gets me excited. The timing – I’m less concerned with the timing. May or June.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie