Anthony Smith has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his UFC career ahead of facing Devin Clark (12-4), who will offer “Lionheart” a realistic route back onto the win column. Former light heavyweight title challenger Smith (33-16) has absorbed a lot of damage in his last four fights, though he’s also faced a very high caliber of opponent in these last two years.
The 32-year-old has had to prove his durability across that span, seeing a final bell opposite rising star Aleksandar Rakic in his last bout and having gone five rounds apiece with Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira:
Despite enduring the worst run of results in his UFC career to date, Smith is a deserved -139 moneyline favorite to get the victory over +115 underdog Clark, according to William Hill NJ.
“Brown Bear” has only four finishes from 16 fights and doesn’t boast the same threat as Smith’s recent list of opponents. It will be interesting to see how Smith has recovered after a bombardment of Rakic leg kicks nullified him in his last outing, but his experience and renowned toughness should stand him in good stead against a lower-pedigree foe.
Two of Clark’s four defeats—including two of his last three—have come via submission, something an intellectual fighter like Lionheart will be all too aware of heading into this bout. The former can set a new personal best in consecutive UFC wins with an upset Saturday, but his record against higher-class opposition suggests the smart money’s on Smith.
Odds: Anthony Smith (-139) vs. Devin Clark (+115)
Prediction: Smith via submission