In just two years, welterweight Benjamin Smith has proven himself to be someone very capable of being able to fight on MMA’s national stage.
Having won all but two of his 15 fights, including three last year, Smith has been nothing but consistent, and he’s eager to continue to prove it in 2015.
“There were all wins for me and also calmed down a little bit after 2013 being a super-busy year,” said Smith. “I got to have a little more preparation for my (2014) fights, which is great.
“I feel like I experienced a lot of growth inside the cage. I opened up my striking game and honed some things in there. I keep doing it in my ground game, which keeps getting better and better. “
“I’m excited about the fight with Tat,” said Smith. “He’s been around a long time and has a lot of experience, so a win over him would certainly be great for my career.
“I think (a win) is a very doable thing. He’s a tough, well-rounded fighter and is a gregarious guy, but I feel my skills will edge his in just about every department.”
For Smith, being the feature bout on a very deep card is a big thing, but he’s going to not try to let it get to his head and derail the progress he’s made the last couple years.
“Stepping into the main event is a really big thing for me and I’m thankful to be in that position,” he said. “I’m proud and honored to be headlining with such great fighters on the card.
“As far as the glitz and glam of being a main event – I try not to focus on that too much – it’s not the driving force. The driving force is to put on a good show and develop myself as a fighter.”
Though Smith is focused on his bout with Romero, winning an RFA championship could be the thing he needs to get an opportunity on MMA’s biggest stage.
“I try to go fight-by-fight because it’s important to not look past your next opponent – that fight is the only one that matters,” said Smith. “Having said that, my overall goal for this year is pretty much about what have been in the past: get to the UFC. The RFA is an awesome platform for this goal.”