Anthony Smith is going to throw hands with Alexander Gustafsson next Saturday at UFC Stockholm, but his issues with Luke Rockhold continue to make headlines.

Smith has been booked to fight the longtime contender, after “Lionheart” failed to take the 205 title from Jon Jones in December. Smith earned that opportunity by taking out Rashad Evans, “Shogun” Rua and then Volkan Oezdemir.

Well, during Smith’s climb up the light-heavyweight ranks, Rockhold let it be known that he isn’t too impressed with the abilities of the former middleweight. In fact, the former middleweight champ eventually called Smith a “bum”, and that didn’t sit very well with the noted finisher.

More recently Smith spoke with MMA Junkie, and it was clear that the veteran fighter hasn’t squashed his beef with Rockhold. While talking about his issues with the star, Smith said this:

“I’m not a pretty boy like him,” Smith said. “Nobody wants to take pictures with me in the club. I’ve got to work for a living, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m working. I’m not out here trash talking people for no reason.

“That’s why nobody likes him. Nobody in the UFC likes him. None of the staff likes him. None of the executives like him. None of the fighters like him. So he can sit pretty and eat his meals on TMZ and talk all the (expletive) all he wants. But at the end of the day, no one likes you, and sometimes that’s what matters most. It’s about how you treat people and if people respect you.

Now, could these two end up fighting in the cage at some juncture? Well, when you consider Smith is 30 years-old and that Rockhold is 34, there certainly appears to be time for that to happen. But, of course, this could depend on what happens in the coming months.

Rockhold is booked to fight contender Jan Blachowicz on July 6th, and if he wins, many people believe he could be fast-tracked into the title shot conversation. If Smith defeats Gustafsson, he’ll also remain at the top of the division. But, as long as Jones holds the belt, Smith is a few wins out from securing another championship bout.

Now, what if both Rockhold and Smith lose their next fights? Then a path to them fighting in the short term could materialize quickly.

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