Tim Smith intent to rebound with statement win over Behrang Yousefi at Unified MMA 41, resume title chase

Tim Smith
Tim Smith in the cage at BTC 11. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

It is often said that fighting is a game of inches, and in the recent return fight of Calgary, Alta.’s Tim Smith (14-11) after a difficult but instructive four-year sabbatical, it all came down to a single second.

“I felt like I was doing good on the feet. I could have done more on the ground, you know. I just felt like I fought a little bit lazy. I thought I was safe, and I was just waiting the rest of the round out to start fresh on the feet again in round two,” said Smith in an interview with MMA Empire.

“Unfortunately he (Matt Krayco) landed a good barrage of elbows with one second left and the ref made the decision to stop the fight. I heard the ten-second clapper go so I was just getting ready to get stood back up for the second round and then, you know, he landed a few nasty elbows, but I don’t see any reason why the fight was stopped.”

Smith, 38, attributes the finish to a perfect capitalization on Krayco’s behalf in a moment and circumstance where Smith underestimated his vulnerability.

“It was a wicked move on his part, like you don’t see that very often, going for the finish with that much time left. I felt like he was breathing pretty heavy from the top and thought he was getting tired. I figured we’re both ready to get back to ‘er on the feet. You know, he’s a stand-up fighter, we both like to stand and bang, and I saw that fight going the distance standing,” said Smith.

Smith will make the brisk, four-week turnaround when he faces Behrang Yousefi (8-7) in a 165-pound contest at Unified MMA 41 in Edmonton, Alta. this Friday, and said while he greatly admires his opponent and former training partner, the dissatisfactory nature of the Krayco loss has him especially determined to win in kind.

“Great guy,” Smith said of Yousefi.

“He’s a very respectful martial artist. I trained with him at Kamikaze Punishment back in around 2012, 2013, I believe. He’s a great guy, good friend, but unfortunately I’m going to have to knock him out or TKO him, first round hopefully.”

Smith said the result of his last outing has not drastically altered his training process heading into the bout with Yousefi, but he has hired a professional strength and conditioning coach and believes the investment will show in his strength and speed on fight night.

“When I came back after my long four-and-a-half-year layoff I came back at 185 pounds, and then my next fight was at 170 pounds and I made that weight super easy. I kind of set a goal forth to get to 165 and then go for the (Unified MMA) 165-pound title. And with my diet and my training my weight’s just been falling off and I know I can make 155 again, so I want to win this fight in good fashion and go for the 155 title in my next fight, hopefully,” said Smith.

“I’d like to stick with Unified. I like them, they treat me well and I’ve been with them for awhile. Like I’ve said before, the 155 title was mine, I was the first fighter to win it in Unified, I defended it three times, no one beat me for it. It was taken away from me for being inactive, and now I’m back and I’m trying to be as active as possible, and I’ve got my eyes on getting my title back.”

While Smith’s journey up to and including his last fight has not lacked for turbulence and hard truths, he is determined to continue sharing his story with those who may be battling similar demons, while directing his focus and energy toward what really matters in his life.

“I’m pretty open about everything on my Instagram and my Facebook. You know, my passion’s just my family, my son, and my mixed martial arts career right now. And then recovery; I’m still in the twelve-step recovery world, and those are the things I’m super passionate about. My fighting, my family and my recovery,” said Smith.

“It’s Shady time.”

Follow Smith on social media: INSTAGRAM

Fight preview brought to you by Lisa McInnes – Verico Paragon Mortgage Inc.