By News Team
16th September 2021
UFC returns to Las Vegas this Saturday with the main event set to feature a light-heavyweight showdown between former world title challenger Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann.
Each of the two fighters have won Performance of the Night accolades recently – Smith on his return to the octagon in late 2020 against Devin Clark, and Spann earlier this year in his last time out against Misha Cirkunov.
We preview the fight and pick out the best odds below.
Smith out to return to title contention
Following a three-fight win-streak against top challengers Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua and Volkan Oezdemir in 2018, Texas-born Anthony Smith was scheduled to fight light-heavyweight king Jon Jones for the belt.
It was a result that humbled Smith, who lost the fight by unanimous decision, despite Jones being deducted two points in round four after landing an illegal knee.
Smith returned with a comeback statement win against Alexander Gustafsson in 2019, winning Performance of the Night after submitting his opponent via a rear-naked choke in round four but lost his next two fights after an 11-month lay-off against top contenders Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.
It’s a patchy run of form that has called Smith’s world title credentials into question over the past two years, but with statement wins against Clark and Jimmy Crute in his last two fights, he has given himself the opportunity to make the most of another spark of momentum in his career.
He next faces Ryan Spann, who has won nine of his last 10 professional UFC fights, seven of which by way of stoppage, four via punches and three via submission. Spann is a dangerous all-rounder with the ability to take you out from all angles.
Smith favourite for victory
Although Smith has made his name as a knockout artist in his early career, he has claimed victory in three of the last four of his wins by way of submission, and you can get him to do the same against Spann at 4/1. Spann to win by submission is 13/2.