Lightweight up and comer Devonte Smith is not one to live in the past. No matter what is happening in his career he is always looking towards the next opportunity.
So it is with his first round TKO victory over Joseph Lowry at Dana White’s Contender Series this past August that Smith has already moved on and focused on making his upcoming UFC debt.
“That (win over Lowry) was four months ago, and my mind is always on the future and moving forward, and what my next move is – my next move was getting another fight,” Smith told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s still a blessing I won the way I did, and to have that fight, but I am on to the next.”
Since his win at the Contender Series, Smith has been looking to continue to make alterations to his game in preparation for his move up to the UFC.
“I don’t like going in the same person I was before,” said Smith. “I like being new. I don’t want anybody to be able to figure me out. Once I feel like they figure me out, I come out with something else. Once I feel like they figure that out, I’ve got something else they’re not prepared for.
“I always have a new weapon, and if I don’t have a new weapon, I have an old one but I know how to use it in a more efficient way. I’m always steadily growing.”
This Saturday in Denver, Colorado, Smith (8-1) will step in the Octagon for the first time properly to face Julian Erosa (22-5) in a preliminary 155-pound bout at UFC Fight Night 139.
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“I know he hasn’t been training like I’ve been training,” Smith said of Erosa. “He hasn’t been training with the caliber of fighters I’m training with. He hasn’t been in the same facility, the same environment, the same coaching and same teaching.
“I’m going to do what I do best. I’m not going to go out for the knockout, but if it happens (that’s fine). For this fight pressure (is the key) and doing what I do best: put my hands on someone, get in and get out, and get the win.”
As Smith is one to always look forward, for 2019 he’s looking to make the gradual moves up the lightweight ranks and hopefully find himself in a prime spot for title contention by the end of the year.
“In 2019 it’s about steady growth,” said Smith. “Possibly we’ll get up with the contenders in the Top 10 or the Top 5.
“You never know, anything can happen within a year’s time, but steady growth and getting better and be more complicated to beat, and beat everybody that gets in my way. I want to beat them in a way that makes everyone fear me. I want to stay on top and have steady growth in 2019.”