Coming off a loss and receiving a title shot last year, it may appear that Anthony Smith is out of the light heavyweight title picture, but all that can change by night’s end this Saturday.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith will take on Aleksandar Rakic in the UFC Fight Night 175 main event Saturday, August 29 from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the surface, it is a combustible light heavyweight bout between two combatants who have a knack for finishes. But according to one half of the main event, Anthony Smith, there is more to the bout than what meets the eye.
“I think we’re gonna have a big opportunity coming our way afterwards,” Smith told MMA on Sirius XM. “The division kind of…it’s opened up, obviously, a lot. There’s a lot of interesting matchups that we’re going to be talking about.”
With the man who successfully defended the light heavyweight championship against him, Jon Jones, now out of the picture and with Anthony Smith still ranked in the top 5 in the division, Smith believes Saturday’s main event has title ramifications attached it.
“A title shot. A title shot, Smith said when asked what’s at stake in Saturday’s main event. “I think that, obviously, a loss sets me way back, but a win puts me right back into title contention. I’m probably going to have to win one more, which is why that Thiago Santos-Glover Teixeira fight is so interesting to me.
“Not only do I get to avenge or have the opportunity to avenge one of my losses…because I’ve got losses to both of those guys…those are both fights that I would love to have back. So that’s huge. And then you beat one of those guys, there’s no one else in front of me. That opens everything wide. That opens everything up, so it’s a big one.”
This big one will take place Saturday at UFC Fight Night 175, which will air live and exclusively on ESPN+.
Do you think Anthony Smith will ever earn a light heavyweight title shot again?
This article first appeared on MMANews.com on 8/26/2020.