On Saturday, July 18, 2015, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (21-10) will defend his Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) middleweight title in a rematch against the champion he took it from, Timmy “the South Jersey Strangler” Williams (10-2) in the main event of CFFC 50. This along with 13 other scheduled bouts will put an exclamation mark on CFFC’s historic event which will air several bouts on a later date on the CBS Sports Network.
A UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce veteran riding a four-fight win streak, Smith will look to prove that the first fight went according to plan. “Winning the title was great,” stated Smith. “I feel honored to wear the same belt as so many great champions before me. But it was expected, so there was no surprise. I had every intention of leaving Philly with that title, and that's exactly what I did.”
Although Smith landed an inverted triangle forcing Williams to tap out in the second round of their encounter, he wasn’t necessarily satisfied with his performance. “My coaches graded my fight performance at a D,” continued Smith. “I fought at about forty percent. I just didn't do anything. I have much superior striking and grappling than Tim and for some reason I just came out flat and didn't really do anything at all. An off night, I suppose. So put that into perspective. I finished Tim on one of my worst performances in nearly 10 years, for his sake, he better hope I don't show up with my A game. It's time for the real me to show my teeth. Lionheart is nasty, and mean. Ruthless but never reckless. Deep down I enjoy hurting people. I get off stepping on another man’s dreams to accomplish my own. July 18 is just another day for us, but you guys haven't seen it yet so sit back and enjoy.”
CFFC president Robert Haydak Jr. is eager for the anticipated rematch. "If both Anthony and Tim show up with their A games, the fans will need to stand back as far as possible because fist and body parts will be flying."
Since their fight in March both sides, mostly fans and media, have chimed in with their opinions of the first fight and the potential rematch. Never shy about his feelings, Smith doesn’t mince his words. “I truthfully haven't heard much from Tim but really, what can he say?,” asked Smith. “I've seen him once say I got lucky but everyone knows he's probably a little embarrassed that as a black belt he shouldn't have gotten caught in that. And I just speak my mind. I'm a hundred times better than him. Deep down in his being he knows that. All his hope and dreams stand behind me and unfortunately he's got to get through me to get there. I have a very detailed career path and a loss to Tim Williams is not in that plan. I don't have any real deep personal problems with Tim. I'm sure he's a decent dude. But he's standing in the way of my future again and that's a bad place to be for anybody.”
Just like their first fight, the fight will take place not too far from Williams’ hometown of Millville, New Jersey. This is something that the Omaha, Nebraska native isn’t fazed by. “I don't give a fuck if it's in Tim’s backyard, front yard, his courtyard, an alley behind the venue, his mom’s basement, or wherever,” said Smith. “The location doesn't matter. I’ve been at this shit for a very very long time. Maybe six, seven, even eight years ago something like that might have been some sort of small factor but even then I doubt it. In Brazil I walked in an arena with 10 thousand screaming Brazilians chanting kill him the entire time, throwing stuff, and trying to get to me. I think I'll handle Atlantic City just fine. I'll finish him again. It'll be devastating and beautiful at the same time.
"There is no doubt Anthony enjoys playing the role of spoiler,” concluded Haydak. “He walked into Philadelphia without a care in the world and left the champion. If he's able to do the same in Atlantic City, then he puts himself in discussion for a trip to the big show."