Anthony Smith
Lionheart

USA

Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 3/26/2022
Pegged with 180-day medical ban
Light HeavyweightUFC
Out
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.
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Strong effort in main event
Light HeavyweightUFC
Out
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.
Set to fight Spann in September
Light HeavyweightUFC
Out
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
Out
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.
Set to face Jimmy Crute
Light HeavyweightUFC
Out
February 9, 2021
Smith will face Jimmy Crute in a light heavyweight fight April 24, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Crute had been set to face Johnny Walker on March 27 but will now face Smith instead roughly a month later after Walker pulled out with a pectoral injury. Smith bounced back from a run of three losses in four fights by submitting Devin Clark in the first round of their November matchup. He'll be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2018. Crute has lost just once in five UFC fights, winning his last two matches in the first round.
Quick submission snaps losing streak
Light HeavyweightUFC
Out
November 28, 2020
Smith defeated Devin Clark via submission (triangle choke) at 2:34 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 18 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
This fight was promoted to a five-round main event, but it didn't need more than a few minutes. Smith seemed to come into this fight with a game plan that would place emphasis on his grappling. Clark rushed forward at the opening bell looking to land a right hand, but Smith took him down and dragged him to the center of the Octagon. Smith did allow Clark to reverse position, but he went to work from his back and secured the choke. Clark wasn't expecting it, and was tapping shortly thereafter. This was a win Smith had to have to remain relevant at light heavyweight after losing three of his last four. He's now ready to take on anyone the UFC throws his way, and could get back in the cage quickly after taking essentially no damage here. In the meantime, he'll walk away $50,000 richer after being awarded Performance of the Night honors for his efforts.