It’s going to be another action-packed Saturday night as the UFC is back with a full card of fights. For a sixth straight week, they are at the UFC APEX Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and this weekend’s showdown will be headlines by Light Heavyweights Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic.
Let’s take a closer look at that bout as well as the other main fights on the card.
Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic
Odds: Rakic -300
Anthony Smith (pictured above) is still the No. 5 fighter in the division, but he’s had a rough go of things recently. He had his title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 235 and was worked over badly. Then he rebounded with a win against Alexander Gustafsson, and appeared to be back on the rise, but then he was knocked out by Glover Teixeira in May. He has now lost two of three coming into this bout and while he’s only 32 years old, he has a lot of wear on his tires. He has 48 fights under his belt, which is a lot. By comparison, the 28-year-old Rakic has only fought 14 times.
Rakic is coming off a loss too as he fell short in a split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir in December. Many people felt Rakic won the fight but he definitely didn’t look bad in the loss. That was his first loss since his first fight, so many see him as being a fighter on the rise still. This will be his toughest test, though, as Smith is a seasoned fighter who has fought the best of the best.
Neil Magny vs Robbie Lawler
Odds: Magny -240
Lawler was once the UFC Welterweight Champion but he’s been in a downward spiral ever since. He held the title in 2016 but his loss to Tyronn Woodley at UFC 201 started a trend of four losses in his last five. He enters Saturday’s festivities on a three-fight losing streak. At 38 years of age, he might be nearing the end of the line.
Magny will try to push him one step closer as the 33-year-old has won two straight and four of five. He’s only ranked No. 14 in the Welterweight Division, so he’s not exactly elite, but he’s a solid veteran. He mostly just out-points his opponents as 13 of his 23 wins are via decision with only seven knockouts and three submissions.
Alexa Grasso vs Ji Yeon Kim
Odds: Grasso -310
Grasso and Kim will meet in a women’s flyweight bout even though Kim is the No. 14 fighter in the Flyweight Division and Grasso is No. 14 in the women’s Strawweight Division.
Kim, who is 9-2 in her career, is a big dog here but she has a strong game when standing and will actually have a six-inch reach advantage. However, Grasso is the more polished of the two fighters. Even though she is just 2-3 in her last five, she has fought better competition like Carla Esparza and Tatiana Suarez in recent bouts, both of whom are ranked in the Top 7 in their division.