Anthony Smith

Lionheart

USA

Matching up with Ankalaev
Light HeavyweightUFC
May 3, 2022
Smith (infection) will face Magomed Ankalaev in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 277 on July 30, Mike Bohn of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith was poised to take on Aleksandar Rakic in December before a staph infection in his right knee forced a withdrawal, but his next date in the Octagon has now been set. Smith, who is fifth in UFC's light heavyweight rankings, defeated Ryan Spann via submission in September and has won his past three bouts. Ankalaev is ranked fourth in the division and has eight consecutive victories dating back to 2018.
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Out with staph infection
Light HeavyweightUFC
November 1, 2021
Smith was forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight against Aleksandar Rakic after developing a staph infection as a result of a knee procedure, Jason Hagholm of The Scrap News reports.
ANALYSIS
A fight between the pair hadn't been officially announced but was verbally agreed upon for Dec. 18. That will now have to wait, as Smith, who injured his knee in his submission victory over Ryan Spann in September, is now out for an undetermined period.
Pegged with 180-day medical ban
Light HeavyweightUFC
September 21, 2021
Smith has been suspended for 180 days or until a right knee injury has been cleared by a doctor, Farah Hannoun of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith didn't need long to take out Ryan Spann in Saturday's main event, notching a submission via rear-naked choke at 3:47 of the opening round. It appears he may have picked up a knee injury along the way but could return earlier than late March if a doctor clears him before then.
Strong effort in main event
Light HeavyweightUFC
September 18, 2021
Smith defeated Ryan Spann via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:47 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Smith has seen it all and done it all in this sport, so it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that he is making one final run at light heavyweight despite being 33 years old and having well over 50 professional fights under his belt. He easily handled the younger and inexperienced Spann in this one. Smith picked his spots much better than his opponent and connected with the biggest strikes of the brief bout. Although he was facing a submission specialist, it was Smith who went to his rear-naked choke to end the fight. Smith is so experienced that he is comfortable in most any situation, and that's a massive advantage inside the Octagon. Smith's career was in doubt following a streak from March 2019 to August 2020 in which he dropped three of four, but he has since responded with three-straight stoppage wins. He asked for a rematch against Aleksandar Rakic in his post-fight interview. The two fought in a main event at the UFC Apex during the height of the pandemic in August 2020, with Rakic taking a unanimous decision. It's a fight that makes sense. In the meantime, Smith will walk away with a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Set to fight Spann in September
Light HeavyweightUFC
June 5, 2021
Smith is scheduled to fight Ryan Spann in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC FIght Night on Sept. 18, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smith is coming off a Round 1 TKO win over Jimmy Crute. He'll look to build off the victory when he takes on Spann in mid-September. Smith has the veteran experience edge, but he'll be giving up height and reach advantages to Spann when the cage doors close.
Comes through as underdog
Light HeavyweightUFC
April 24, 2021
Smith defeated Jimmy Crute via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1 at UFC 261 on Saturday in Jacksonville.
ANALYSIS
Yes, the doctor stopped the fight, but the excellent work of Smith was the reason the bout ended up in that position. Anthony consistently peppered Crute with his jab before firing off a perfectly placed kick to the back of Crute's knee. The shot must have hit a nerve because Crute immediately crumbled. He was compromised for the few seconds remaining in the frame, and it got no better in between rounds. Smith looked done following back-to-back losses to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in the middle of 2020, but has since rebounded with stoppage wins over Crute and Devin Clark. Smith is somehow still just 32 years old despite having more than 50 professional fights under his belt. He could theoretically make another run at 205 pounds.