clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Luke Rockhold responds to Anthony Smith’s heated comments: ‘The truth hurts, baby!’

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Over the weekend, Anthony Smith was in Atlanta, Ga. to attend the UFC’s seasonal press conference, in anticipation of his main event fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Stockholm on June 1. But despite the fact that Smith has a bout against the top-ranked light-heavyweight contender coming up, it was his beef with former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold that stole the show.

Smith called Rockhold a “f*ckin’ piece of shit,” and promised “to drill a hole through Luke Rockhold’s f*ckin’ face” the next time he sees him. Not one to sit by quietly, Rockhold responded over the weekend, telling TMZ Sports that he wanted to fight Smith but “Lionheart” kowtowed to the UFC instead of getting the fight they both wanted.

“The truth hurts,” Rockhold said. “I don’t know. Some people just can’t take the truth and that’s a problem, I always tell it. He can keep talking, keep running his mouth, but he had his opportunity. He could have manned up instead of being a b*tch and being an errand boy for the UFC.

“There’s balls to take fights and there’s balls to not take fights. I saw his interview and he obviously didn’t want to take this fight [with Gustafsson]. He wanted to take some time off. He could’ve done that. Could’ve stuck to your word because I would have been right here. First thing I asked the UFC after that fight, make this thing happen. Then he b*tched out and ran their errands and went out to Stockholm.”

Rockhold has been critical of Smith’s career since Smith rose to prominence last year after moving up to 205 pounds, saying he didn’t understand how Smith got a title shot and that he wasn’t even a top-10 middleweight before moving up. Smith wasn’t the only light heavyweight Rockhold took shots at - the former middleweight champion opined on the talent level of most of the top light heavyweights and came to the conclusion that the division was “there for the taking” - but he was the target of some of Rockhold’s harshest criticisms and the guy Rockhold said he most wanted to face for his light heavyweight debut.

“He was the first option, for sure,” Rockhold said. “It would’ve been fun. Put him away like Jon couldn’t and it would’ve been great. The kid runs his mouth, he gets all bent out of shape like a rookie. Truth hurts, baby. Truth hurts!

“He better focus on the fight coming up because my opinion is, he’s about to get his ass kicked. So go out there, go take your ass-whooping and come talk to me afterwards.”

Rockhold has his own fight to focus on as well. The former middleweight champion will be making his light heavyweight debut against Jan Blachowicz af UFC 239 in July. After that, he hopes to fight Jon Jones sooner rather than later. But if a fight with Smith does come to fruition, he’s not all that concerned about Smith’s promise to “drill a hole” through his face.

“I don’t think much of Anthony Smith,” Rockhold concluded. “I don’t think he’s very tough, technical, talented. He ain’t got what it takes. It would be an embarrassment to Anthony Smith. He’s not gonna be drilling nothing. [Laughs]. I will own that kid from start to finish anywhere he wants to go. He’s not really on my radar. I’m gonna go do my thing and I’ll enjoy watching him get beat up in Stockholm.”


Results. Israel Adesanya, Kelvin Gastelum, Max Holloway, and Dustin Poirier put on two of the best fights you’ll see all year at UFC 236.

Next up. Dana White: Dustin Poirier will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov next.

Cejudo. Henry Cejudo says he’ll never fight T.J. Dillashaw again: ‘I want no part of him’.

Well-earned, Ace. Rich Franklin to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame.

New era. Dana White addresses fan issues watching first UFC pay-per-view on ESPN+.


UFC 236 Post-fight show.

LFA 63 highlights.

The new champ talking about his tattoos.

Woodley on the Lawler rematch.

Pretty solid recap of Dustin vs. Max.


6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 236.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 236, the upcoming UFC schedule, and T.J. Dillashaw.





Conor is a terrible matchmaker.



The WEC was awesome.

Henry by armbar.

Call out.

Team Matt Brown for life.



Mike Shipman (13-1) vs. Costello Van Steenis (11-1); Bellator London, June 22.

John Redmond (7-13) vs. George Tokkos (4-0); Bellator London, June 22.

Nathan Greyson (6-3) vs. Frans Mlambo (6-4); Bellator London, June 22.


2006: Tim Silva won the UFC heavyweight title for the second time, knocking out Andrei Arlovski in their rematch at UFC 59.

2010: Ben Askren made his Bellator debut, submitting Ryan Thomas with a guillotine at Bellator 14 to advance to the semifinals of their welterweight tournament.

2017: Demetrious Johnson submitted Wilson Reis with a third-round armbar to retain his flyweight title at UFC on FOX 24.


That was a wild, wild weekend. The Fight of the Year. Another fight that would’ve easily been considered a FOTY front-runner, and Tiger winning the Masters. I don’t know about y’all but I’m spent.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Should the UFC have booked Rockhold-Smith?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Yes, obviously.
    (791 votes)
  • 30%
    No, I like these fights better.
    (465 votes)
  • 18%
    They should still book it now. Scrap there current plans and let’s settle this
    (283 votes)
1539 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting