A Calgary showdown is set to go down in Edmonton, Alta. this weekend.
Smith said he has known of Krayco for upwards of fifteen years and has seen his entire career unfold.
“We fought on the same circuit, so I’ve seen him around at lots of shows, like Rumble in the Cage back in the day, 2006, 2007,” Smith said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’ve known who he is for his whole career and he’s known who I am for my whole career.”
When it comes to gauging his opponent’s skillset, Smith, 38, is highly complementary, but understands the seriousness of the challenge before him.
“To be honest, I’m a huge Krayco fan. If I wasn’t fighting him and he was fighting someone else, I’d be tuning in to watch the fight. He’s an exciting fighter with wicked stand-up, and he’s very durable,” said Smith.
“The kid’s tough as nails, so I know I’m going to have to be at my absolute best to put him away and that’s what I’ve been training and preparing for.”
Smith last competed in 2019 after four and a half years of inactivity, and said personal circumstances at the time led to him losing in his return.
“The 2015 to 2019 layoff was a very bad, dark time for me. I fell astray due to drug addiction. I was still training, but I wasn’t at any gyms or nothing like that. I was kind of on my own, living on the streets, and kind of burnt my life to the ground,” said Smith.
“So I got myself back up on my feet, rebuilt myself in 2019, but I took a fight way too soon. After I had four years off I took a fight after only training with a new gym for ten weeks. I was going to drug treatment, weighing 220 pounds, and I took a fight at 185 pounds, so my whole ten-week camp was based on losing weight. I lost that fight due to lack of proper preparation. From the day I lost that fight until now, I’ve been completely focused on rebuilding myself as a fighter for a proper comeback this time. I’ve been putting in tons of work with new coaches, Brad Cardinal and Justin Basra at Cardinal MMA, and Eric Hussey at Mike Miles Muay Thai.”
In addition to appreciating Krayco’s fighting style, Smith knows he will also have to match or exceed his opponent’s stellar cardio if he is to emerge victorious on Saturday.
“He’s got a gas tank; he’s had lots of fights where he’s went the distance with high-level guys, so I’m definitely not taking him lightly,” said Smith.
As far as after the fight goes, Smith has a clear vision for his future.
“I definitely look at it as one fight at a time, but I have some goals. I want to get another title. I want to be the 165-pound Unified (MMA) champion,” said Smith.
“I know this fight’s for BTC, and if there’s a belt available there in the future I want to fight for it, but my main goal is to get back into Unified and get the 165-pound championship title.”
For now though, Smith is solely focused on his bout with Krayco, and knows the matchup will be exciting for the same reasons it will be dangerous.
“I know it’s going to be an explosive, barn-burner fight,” said Smith.
“It’s going to be a good one for the fans. Anyone who knows the local scene of mixed martial arts knows that Shady versus Krayco is a fight to see.”
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