Canadian bantamweight, Cole Smith (7-0) is ready for his UFC career after making a successful promotional debut at UFC Ottawa in May.
Speaking exclusively to The Scrap, he clarified his post-fight comments, unveiled his plans moving forward and offered his thoughts on the 135-pound landscape.
Clearing up the controversy.
After his unanimous decision victory over fight veteran Mitch Gagnon (12-5), Cole Smith was reported to have been unhappy with his paycheck.
Several MMA outlets ran a story picking up on the comment, “this sport sucks,” but Smith couldn’t be happier in the fight game despite the tough nature of the sport.
“When I said the sport sucks, I love the sport. I just mean we have a lot of grueling aspects. You’ve got to cut weight, all your nerves and anxiety. Of course, it’s a brutal sport but I love it and wouldn’t change anything about it.”
Now a UFC fighter, “The Cole Train” is looking to capitalize on the opportunity and make the type of money he has more than earned.
“I’m happy I will finally start making some money that I feel I deserve,” said Smith. “I got paid more than I ever have in that single UFC fight so I’m not complaining. I’m more than happy with that and the opportunity to earn even more money. I’m ready to keep kicking people’s ass’s and making more money”.
All eyes on Edmonton.
A month after his debut, Cole Smith is still without a name or date for his next fight.
The Canadian native does however, have his sights firmly set on UFC’s return to Edmonton, Canada for UFC 240 July 27.
“I don’t have anything yet, but we are trying to get me on the July card in Edmonton,” said Smith. “So fingers crossed, I can get on that card”.
When it comes to an opponent, anyone and everyone can get it. ““At this point in my career I should be taking whoever they throw at me,” said Smith. “I don’t think I’m at the stage where I should be calling people out. Maybe one or two wins and I can start looking for some top guys.” Smith realizing his status as a promotional newcomer, is happy to fight whoever they put in front of him before moving onto bigger and better things in the future.
Assessing the competition.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest guys at 135 pounds, Smith seemed confident bantamweight would be his home for the foreseeable future.
Happy to be an over-sized Bantamweight rather than an undersized Featherweight Smith told us, “I’m comfortable [at 135lbs]. I’m 30 years old and not growing anymore. I feel like if I can make 135, I should keep making 135. I am in that weird zone where I am a couple pounds bigger than most 35’ers, but a couple short of most 45’ers. I know a couple of 145lb’ers and they are just a lot bigger than me”.
With his status in the division clarified, a look to the future was unavoidable with the pending bantamweight championship fight set to go down this weekend at UFC 238 between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes.
Smith struggled to see past the champion Henry Cejudo.
“I have to go with Henry [Cejudo] he’s got a lot of hype around him having just beat two of the top guys in the world. He’s beaten [Demetrious] Johnson, he’s just knocked out TJ [Dillashaw] so he’s feeling hot, it’s hard to go against him. Once guys start winning and getting hot they are hard to pick against. I can see him winning a decision. Both guys are really tough, so it will be hard to put either guy away”.
With the belt far away in Cole’s future, he has his eyes fixed on a contender outside of the two competing for gold at UFC 238. “Cory Sandhagen is looking really good,” said Smith. “A big guy who switches stances, I think he can do some damage.” A potential future match-up to look out for for fight fans, as Smith aims to make his way to the upper echelons of the sport.
Certainly not lacking confidence, Smith told The Scrap he’s already “one of the best in the world”. With huge physical advantages, an undefeated record, and that type of positive mindset, he may be right. Only time will tell, as he fights his way towards the top of the bantamweight division.
Whatever happens, fans are in for a fun ride on, “The Cole Train”.
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The Scrap’s Jordan Ellis of Liverpool, UK is a lifelong fight fan and aspiring writer. Covering all things MMA and Boxing, you can follow him on Twitter (@JordanEllisUK) for daily fight news and content.