Alexander Gustafsson vs Anthony Smith comes down to one thing


Chael Sonnen


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what do you really be good on this fight both of these guys top contenders both of these guys coming out having their hearts ripped out thought they were gonna become world champion major opportunity in many ways the breakdown of this fight doesn't come down to the volume of Gus versus the power of Smith the grit of Smith versus the conditioning of Gus it really doesn't I think if this was a year ago or even six months ago I think that's what we're sitting here talking about you know if it goes to the ground it's really gonna favor Smith and Smith can get inside or Smith contested but if Gus can move around and use that foot working lateral motion and everything starts with a jab and finishes with the kick a year ago would be about that but right now the analysis on this is two guys that got bucked off a horse and the first rule is you got to get back on that horse there is a lot of variables here a lot who has recovered more who was hurt more who gained and grew from the John Jones experience because that's a real thing to when you get pulled up in that loft even if eventually you got to go back down the ladder some boy they need that they use that as a springboard they use that as a motivation a hunger a desire to get back and ever guys go with this mountain is too big to reek lime I made it all the way to the top all the way to the main event the world title on everything on the line but I don't want to reclaim that mountain that's a very real thing and there's absolutely no shame it but it's a real thing some guys know that before they sign the contract some guys are very open with their emotions and they realize this is going to be too big to buy it off I've already done it once I remember the sacrifice I remember the hard work it took me 12 years I don't have 12 years left I'm gonna be real straight with you now and I'm gonna walk away I mean they're stories where that's happened Michael Spinks comes to mind fought Mike Tyson went in there limping champion undefeated all these wonderful things biggest fight in the history of the world of boxing one was paid thirty two million won was paid twenty eight million I mean just a really huge massive fight he lost in 93 seconds and he never made that walk again and there was no shame in that but it was an anomaly in them many fighters never recover from falling back down that mountain but they don't know it physically they do everything right they go into practice they cut their weight they walk on that scale and they walk back out there and sometimes they do it two and three and four more times before they realize I fell off that night against John John's and I never recovered it was a mental thing and not a physical we have no way to know if that is true for either one of these athletes but why I am offering you in this that is really what this is about we don't talk about this like we would talk about other fights where it's a power of Smith and the volume of gussets it's not like that right now Gus is going to have to fight in his hometown of Sweden where he is a mega star I have not heard the gate I may never hear that I can tell you guys right now that show sold out I know the history of Gus I know how big he is in Sweden specifically sold out so he's got every obstacle that I just laid out for you plus the pressures of fighting at home Smith has his own pressures everything that I just laid out for you plus haven't got a plane go to Sweden deal with the time change deal with not knowing anybody doing dealing without having some of the niceties of a car or a kitchen to go get food from having to live on the road and walk out there four days after he lands in a different time zone take on one of the baddest guys alive I mean there there's enough there to go around but the bottom line is this fight is really about mental duration mental attrition who wants it more who wants to give it really is you are going to see a fight amongst two fantastic athletes but until this thing is done I don't believe there's any reason for us to get lost in the X's and O's of the analysis of the power versus the length over the speed versus the size over the conditioning versus the grit I don't think so I really don't I think there's some tangibles at play I think there is a very good chance that this is a long drawn-out evening by two guys who are going to pass the test that we are willing to get up when it's hard and we are willing try again when it's hard what a true fighter does there is also an opportunity here that one guy buckles it's a very real thing we've seen it happen before and I do not suspect either one will wilt to the punches and kicks of the of the other there is a possibility that the pressure of the situation and of the first steps back up that mega mountain that they both climbed and both had to go back down becomes too much it's a very real thing and we've seen it a number of times and there's a lot on these guys and I think there's a lot of reason for us to sit back as fans tip our hat to them both and enjoy a very interesting contest