Anthony Smith speaks after his fight against Brett Okamoto. Devin Clark was transferred to the main event after Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19. (1:15)
The UFC light heavyweight competitor is a trusted studio analyst for broadcasts and always there when the promotion needs him in a big place. Smith received another call on Friday.
After the heavyweight competitor’s main event between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test, the UFC led Smith to the headliner. Smith was scheduled for the co-main event against Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. Well, Smith vs.. . Clark will be the headliner.
All fights from UFC Fight Night: Smith vs.. . Clark will be available on ESPN .
• Anthony Smith vs.. . Devin Clark
• Miguel Baeza vs.. . Takashi Sato
• Josh Parisian vs.. . Parker Porter
• Spike Carlyle vs.. . Bill Algeo
• Ashley Evans-Smith vs.. . Norma Dumont Viana
• Jonathan Pearce vs.. . Kai Kamaka III
• Martin Day vs.. . Anderson dos Santos
• Gina Mazany vs.. . Rachael Ostovich
• Su Mudaerji vs.. . Malcolm Gordon
• Luke Sanders vs.. . Nate Maness
This is Smith’s seventh major UFC event in a row. He is the only fighter who has never won a UFC title who has. In addition, this is the second year in a row that Smith has been asked to advance to the Main Event. In August, Smith’s fight against Aleksandar Rakic ended after Yair Rodriguez vs.. . Zabit Magomedsharipov.
How steadfast is Smith? He asked the UFC to have his fight with Clark for five rounds even though he had only trained for a three-round co-main event. And so it is, and it will be a great opportunity for both men.
Smith (33-16) has lost two straights and is trying to get back on track. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he fought then-champion Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title in March 2019. 32-year-old Smith dropped out of ESPN’s top 10 light heavyweight finishes but is only a short streak away from being a competitor again.
Clark (12-4) has never had such a platform before. The native of South Dakota has won twice in a row, but has never fought as high as a co-main event in the UFC. However, 30-year-old Clark should be well prepared for Smith. Clark is a longtime teammate of Jones at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In what is now a co-main event, two rising world champions in Miguel Baeza and Takashi Sato will compete against each other. Baeza (9-0), a training partner of Colby Covington, is a legitimate prospect and beat veteran Matt Brown in May. Sato (16-3) knocked out Jason Witt in just 48 seconds in his last fight in June.
Heavyweight prospects Josh Parisian and Parker Porter clash on the map, featherweight prospects Jonathan Pearce and Kai Kamaka clash, and popular women’s flyweight Rachael Ostovich is trying to win a one-on-one losing streak against Gina Mazany.
Men’s flyweight: Su Mudaerji (12-4, 2-1 UFC) defeated Malcolm Gordon (12-5, 0-2 UFC) by KO in the first round
Mudaerji looked superb on his flyweight debut and TKO stopped Gordon in 44 seconds of the first round. Mudaerji made it look simple. He flicked Gordon with precise straight left hands until Gordon had basically had enough and dropped onto the mat. Mudaerji followed him onto the canvas and landed more punches until referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to stop her.
The interruption is tied for the third fastest target in the history of the UFC flyweight, according to ESPN Stats & information.
« That was my plan, » Mudaerji said in his post-fight interview. « I didn’t want to fight in the second round. «
Only 24-year-old Mudaerji showed unusual strength for a 125-pound fighter. The native Tibetan has won twice in a row after losing his UFC debut to Louis Smolka in 2018. Gordon, a 30-year-old Canadian, has dropped out of two UFC fights so far.
After just one flyweight fight, Mudaerji said he was ready for the division’s elite.
140-pound catchweight: Nate Maness (13-1, 2-0 UFC) defeats Luke Sanders (13-4, 3-4 UFC) in the second round
The exchange of blows came quickly and with anger, both men threw heavy leather for prolonged outbursts of violence. Sanders seemed to land more often, but on lap 2 his knees buckled twice when a Maness shot connected. The next time they got together, Maness landed a straight left hand, followed by a right, which Sanders put down, and Maness plunged into a behind bare choke at 2:29 a.m..
It was an exciting way to start the night. Two gentlemen from the south threw caution to the wind and set about it with full force.
Maness, a 29-year-old from Henderson, Kentucky, has won three straight wins, including his UFC debut, a decisive win over Johnny Munoz Jr. . in August. The win was Maness’ third assist, all three by choke.
Three of his four losses were filed for Sanders. He is 34 years old and is from Clarksville, Tennessee. He hadn’t fought since February 2019, when he defeated former master Renan Barao. Before that he had lost three out of four.
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Smith (33-16, 8-6 UFC, -135) vs.. . Devin Clark (12-4, 6-4 UFC, 115)
Welterweight: Miguel Baeza (9-0, 2-0 UFC, -170) vs.. . Takashi Sato (16-3, 2-1 UFC, 150)
Heavyweight: Josh Parisian (13-3, 0-0 UFC, -200) vs.. . Parker Porter (10-6, 0-1 UFC, 175)
Men’s featherweight: Spike Carlyle (9-2, 1-1 UFC, -180) vs.. . Bill Algeo (13-5, 0-1 UFC, 160)
Women’s bantamweight: Ashley Evans-Smith (6-4, 3-4 UFC, -135) vs.. . Norma Dumont Viana (4-1, 0-1 UFC, 115)
Men’s featherweight: Jonathan Pearce (9-4, 0-1 UFC, 260) vs.. . Kai Kamaka III (8-2, 1-0 UFC, -320)
Men’s bantamweight: Martin Day (8-4, 0-2 UFC, -164) vs.. . Anderson dos Santos (20-8, 0-2 UFC, 145)
Ultimate Fight Championship, Anthony Smith, Devin Clark, Curtis Blaydes, Mixed Martial Arts
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