Rising South African MMA star Jeremy “The Pitbull” Smith recently had his first fight on American soil, defeating Dustin Rhodes by TKO in two rounds, proving to America that South African mixed martial artists are a mounting force. His MMA record going into XFC 11 The Next Generation was 6-0-0 with a Thai Boxing record of 10-1-1; Smith’s background is that of a South African Amateur Thai Boxing and Kickboxing Champion, holding a quickest knockout record of 30 seconds.
Aptly named “The Pitbull,” Jeremy explains the origin of his nickname which “comes from the way I fight… I never give up, am very tenacious, and once I get in I never let go.” Smith started training in Thai boxing at the age of 17, moving on to MMA at 21 “because I like the ground and pound and the wrestling side and because MMA is the fastest growing sport with much more of a future than Thai boxing.” He considers himself “very strong” with “an excellent boxing background, good clinch and ground and pound,” and as South African MMA enthusiasts have seen “very hard to be submitted.”
On February 19, 2010, Johannesburg enthusiasts witnessed a main event far surpassing the quality and tenacity of any previously seen, featuring an anxiety-ridden three rounds of five minutes each between American fighter Gerardo Julio Gallegos and Jeremy “The Pitbull” Smith, with Smith emerging victorious at the end of an intense and emotional match. Smith considers this fight “his best to date” calling Julio a “very tough opponent” and reflecting, “It was a good challenge of my skills and my first time going the distance.”It is evident that Smith’s talent and daunting ability will continue to make waves throughout the international MMA scene and gain recognition for South African mixed martial artists. Smith trained “extremely” hard for his first American fight, anticipating a “tough fight” and the “chance to show the world that South Africa has talent and a future in the international MMA scene.”