The UFC’s reality series, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), was designed, in essence, to create a gateway for up-and-coming fighters to blaze new frontiers on MMA’s main-stage. TUF participants sign on for six-weeks of mental and physical conditioning as reality stars, recording before a camera that doesn’t pan away when it comes to the fight scene. Many TUF competitors are eliminated before the Finale; thereby, they seek slots on fight cards in other MMA promotions. TUF: Season 17 member and current Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) welterweight champion, Gilbert Smith, recently checked in with Funky Monkey MMA, and the audience was treated to a mindset that has been crafted and molded into the necessary focus for extreme displays of TUFness, suggesting listeners to believe RFA’s championship marker won’t be changing hands when TUF: Season 16 cast-member, Bristol Marunde (16-9) challenges Gilbert Smith (11-4) at RFA 31 on October 9, 2015 at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.
A physical specimen who now possesses the primal fixation prerequisite to succeeded in the UFC, Smith eschewed any concern of entering the UFC, acting as if it were merely a hushed blip on his radar,
“I’m not really focusing on it [going to the UFC]. I think I’ve got more to prove.”
Had Smith stopped there, MMA fans and pundits alike may question his desire to carbon copy the cream that rises to the top, though Smith continued,
“If the UFC calls me, fine.”
And that is the entirety of energy Smith exhausted on envisioning anything in MMA beyond the date etched on his calendar: October 9, 2015. Unlike his time in the TUF house, Smith was afforded the opportunity to play executive producer, deciding the sound bites he wished to be distributed into MMA’s ethos, though, with leadership pedigree, he only expelled truth,
“I think that the UFC, with the talent pool they have right now, are being a little bit more skeptical about who they pick up, and it seems like they are going more international. They are signing these new international guys, which sucks, but it is what it is.”
Utilizing a mentality derived from TUF: win and you’re in, victory is the only thing that pesters Smith’s fight psyche,
“I’m just going to keep fighting and keep winning and see how this plays out.”
In a barrel of curiosity, the host of Funky Monkey MMA, Cain Miller, was unable to leave the future tense alone, questioning Smith about who would be his next choice of contender after defending his title at RFA 31. Smith was likely hit with the TUF reminder that TUF: Season 17 had not lived up to expectation, preferring history to not repeat itself,
“I worry about people when I have to fight them. I don’t worry about scouting. I really don’t care.”
It all boils down to the infamous speech delivered by UFC President, Dana White, all the way back at TUF: Season 1:
Like the gold he locks around his waist, the interview concluded with no more past and no more future, only the present; Smith’s outlook on RFA 31 is just right in regards to continuing to post the RFA title-belt on the mantel:
“I’m going to tell you the truth about this. He’s not going to last five rounds.”
Left to infer specifics, the bumper music to close out the segment, seemingly, stamped Smith’s prediction with a strong sense of assurance. Don’t be left behind when Smith and Marunde battle live on AXS TV to determine whose future will be crowned as the TUFest 170 pounder in RFA.
Check out this episode of Funky Monkey MMA and others at: