He was brought in as an underdog to the main event stud, but he walked out CFFC champ. What does Blake Smith have left to prove coming into his first title defense?
There were a few reasons to bring Smith to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for CFFC 100. One, he’s a 5-2 finishing machine. Two, he’s a local fighter, and three, he was the only guy in the area game enough to share the cage with Zulkarnaiyn Kamchybekov.
“You have to be fearless, in a sense,” Smith explained. “You have to know that this is a regional show. If you’re not willing to compete with everyone in a regional show, how are you going to compete with anyone on a world show? That’s how me and my camp looked at it. We were ready for that opportunity. We knew it was a risk.”
Smith knew when the match was made, he wasn’t expected to win. A lot of fighters would have passed on the bout out of anger or passed on it out of fear or any number of reasons, but Smith shrugged off the “intent” and the “expectations” of the bout. If you can’t step up when the competition is tough, there’s no point in calling yourself a fighter.
But Smith’s need to grasp the moment isn’t limited to the cage. His whole life he has gone through any door opened for him.
“You have to apply that sort of mentality to the real world, too,” Smith said. “I have my own paint company and if I’m scared to go out there to any contractors, I’m not going to get any jobs. If I’m scared to take this opportunity, I’m not going to go far. Fighters have to understand opportunity doesn’t come knocking all the time, so you have to be prepared for your opportunity.”
The underdog who was brought in to lose yet finds a way to get the win and the title is a good enough story. It’s about that time that the credits roll in every Rocky movie among others and it’s the fitting end.
The fighter in Smith rejects that end and explains this fight is about a lot more than defending his belt. He’s out to prove he’s for real.
“People might think that because I won there’s a controversy, it was a fluke but I’m here to show on this next fight that it wasn’t a fluke,” Smith said.
Smith playfully acknowledged that in order to purely prove that it wasn’t a fluke he would have to eye a guillotine, but he would be satisfied with a win however it comes.
“He just only made a mistake there and left his head where it shouldn’t have been,” Smith said. “I’m a brown belt, so I’m pretty confident in my jiu jitsu whenever it hits the ground. If this guy makes a mistake, he better be ready as well.”
With a professional record of 6-2 and belts to go with it, the fight isn’t make or break for his career, but with UFC hopes for the future and a whole lot of pride on the line, CFFC 106 opponent Paris Artis can expect the most dangerous form of Blake Smith to date.
Catch the return of Blake Smith as he puts his CFFC lightweight belt on the line at CFFC 106, LIVE AND ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!