Anthony Smith who’s just turned 34 is a true MMA veteran who’s been fighting professionally since 2008. In his UFC career, he’s fought against some real legends of the light heavyweight division, including Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, and Glover Teixeira. This Saturday, he’s facing off with a fighter who’s got the potential to become a UFC legend himself in the future – Magomed Ankalaev.
Smith might have the experience on his side, but what needs to worry him ahead of his UFC 277 outing is that his opponent is 17-1 in his professional career. Smith’s record, on the other hand, is 36-16.
Anthony Smith vs Magomed Ankalaev UFC 277 Odds
All odds are per FanDuel as of July 27.
Where and When to Watch
- Date: Saturday, July 30
- Time: ~10:00 PM EDT
- Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
- Watch: ESPN+, PPV
Anthony Smith Looking for His Fourth Straight Win
Since joining the UFC in 2016, Smith has never won more than three fights in a row. He has a chance to do so by beating Ankalaev at UFC 277. In his previous three fights, Smith defeated Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute, and Ryan Spann.
None of those guys has an impressive record as Smith’s next opponent but this guy does have experience with fighting against high-ranked opponents. However, most of his big-name fights happened a few years ago.
In fact, the last time Smith won against a fighter from the Top 10 in the UFC light heavyweight rankings was in June 2019 when he submitted Alexander Gustafsson. Although not too much time has passed since, Smith did fight five bouts in the meantime, going 3-2.
Magomed Ankalaev Has Huge Ambitions in the UFC
Ankalaev is riding on a 13-fight win streak that started in September 2018. In the first two years of his UFC career, he fought mostly against other newcomers. However, in 2020, the promotion started pitting him against some real elite opponents.
It all started with a fight with Ion Cutelaba in February 2020 which Ankalaev won by controversial TKO – the referee awarded Ankalaev the win even though Cutelaba was convincing everyone he was okay to continue. Ankalaev then proved to be a sport by accepting a rematch. It happened in October 2020 and Ankalaev won again, this time by KO.
Since then, he’s fought another three fights – against Nikita Krylov, Volkan Oezdemir, and Thiago Santos – winning each time by unanimous decision.
Anthony Smith vs Magomed Ankalaev Prediction
Even though Smith is a seasoned fighter, we don’t think he can do much against Ankalaev. It’s just that the Russian fighter is much, much better than him. Ankalaev is currently fourth in the UFC light heavyweight rankings, but we feel as if he belongs even higher. Actually, we think he deserves to challenge for the title. The best way to prove that is to get a win on Saturday.Pick: Magomed Ankalaev