Anthony Smith thinks his opponent this weekend, Aleksandar Rakic, is a one-trick pony, but realizes it’s a dangerous trick.
Smith and Rakic headline UFC on ESPN+ 33 this weekend (Sun. August 29, 2020) from the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rakic has made quite the name for himself in the UFC with two big finishes over the likes of Devin Clark and Jimi Manuwa. He suffered the first loss of his UFC run in December with a split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir. Now, he’ll take on another former title challenger in Smith, who tells MMA Junkie he didn’t really have Rakic on his radar until now.
“I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting Rakic,” Smith said. “To be honest with you, I was expecting Corey Anderson, so I think with everything and the fallout that happened with Corey and him ending up with Bellator, I think that that probably is a pretty good tell of why we didn’t fight. He just wasn’t accepting fights.
“But when they came with Rakic, I’m good with it. I like the matchup, I like his style. I think his style favors me a lot. He’s kind of a one-trick pony, you kind of know what you’re getting yourself into, and the danger factor is super high, so I think that I had an easier time getting up for this fight than I would vs. like a Corey Anderson.”
“Lionheart” is 1-1 in his last two fights. He was able to amass a three-fight win streak back in 2018, earning him a shot at then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Ultimately, Smith was bested by “Bones” via unanimous decision, but the Nebraska native bounced back with a big submission win over Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden.
Unfortunately for Anthony Smith, he dropped his next contest to Glover Teixeira this past May. Now, he’s hoping to get back on track by taking out a young contender in Rakic this weekend.