After The Ultimate Fighter: Jeff Smith
After the glitz and glamour of a reality television show like The Ultimate Fighter many fighters lose their way, they fade off into obscurity, they change their direction in life and some even hang up the gloves. Although he only made the first episode of TUF Live Jeff Smith took everything that he could from that experience and he used it to his advantage and now he is on a mission to get his place in the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts organization. ”I am back to where I was before the show. Still fighting the local circuit. Still training every day and still trying to make this my life.” Jeff says.
The first step to getting another chance was the change in weight class. Jeff decided that fighting at Featherweight was going to be better for his career. “I decided to take the drop back down to 145. I think that’s where I should be and that is where I am better suited.”
Taking his dreams of fighting in the UFC to the next level Jeff now runs Blackman MMA for Steve Blackman out of Harrisburg Pennsylvania and is able to dedicate his time to perfecting his craft, as well as helping out others. “I love being able to train full time. I do two classes in the morning and three at night and it’s just great to be able to focus on being in shape.” Jeff explained. “It’s great to be training around the same guys Monday to Friday and then being able to train with some of the UFC and Bellator guys who live around the area. I feel myself getting better every day”.
On July 14th Jeff won his tenth professional fight in a three round decision that saw him take Complete Devastation MMA’s Featherweight title. Although it was a victory for Jeff he was still a little unhappy with what happened inside the cage. “I wasn’t happy with my performance at all” he begun. “I nearly had him with a Twister in the first round which is something that you rarely see in MMA and I dominated him for two whole rounds but then I just gassed in the third round and he was on top of me for almost the whole thing. The weight cut kinda hit me this time around but now I am walking around at 160 so it won’t be too much of a problem next time.” On his opponent Jeff was surprised “He was a big dude. Bigger than me. It was a tough night at the end there.” He explained. At the end of the day though he got the win and excluding his exhibition bout for the Ultimate Fighter Jeff has not lost a professional fight since 2009.
Taking his current win streak to ten wins in a row Jeff is confident that we will see him get his shot at redemption in the UFC “I think give me two or three more wins and you will defiantly see me get back in there. It’s a confidence thing really and I am confident I can beat some of those guys at 145.” No matter what happens though you will continue to see Jeff fight for his shot at redemption “I think I have something to prove. I am better than what I was on that night and given the chance again I could go in there and really make some noise.” In the MMA business it’s sometimes about being in the right place at the right time and around the right people. This is something that Jeff is all too aware of “You look at some of the guys who get their shot in the UFC and you kind of liken them to guys on your local circuit. You think you can beat them and you know that given the chance you will beat them. They were in the right place at the right time though, it doesn’t worry me to see other guys get signed, I know that I will be in that right place soon enough.”
Jeff has plans for another fight in September and is actively seeking sponsors. If everything falls into place the way that he is hoping it may be a leap out of the “local circuit” and a chance to showcase his skills on a national level once again. Jeff is confident that given the chance all over again things would be different. “I think with the right preparation that I can show everyone what I am capable of inside that cage and I know that with that you will see me in the UFC sooner rather than later.”
Stay tuned to CageJunkies.com to be the first to know who Jeff steps into the cage against next!