In the main event of the evening, two light heavyweight contenders go head-to-head as No. 5 ranked Anthony Smith takes on No. 8 ranked Aleksandr Rakic. A technical striker who once fought Jon Jones for the title, Smith has recorded victories over a number of notable names over the course of his UFC career, including the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans. Having won four of his last six contests, “Lionheart” will be hoping a win on Saturday nightwill propel himself back into title conversations.
Across the Octagon® however, will be rising Austrian prospect Aleksandar Rakic, who has been on an equally impressive run in recent times. Having won four of his five UFC bouts, Rakic displayed his ability as a well-rounded, explosive striker with an impressive head kick KO of veteran Jimi Manuwa. With both men needing a win to fuel their title aspirations, and with long time champion Jon Jones recently deciding to vacate his title, fans can expect an enthralling contest here between two of the best in the light heavyweight division.
The co-main event sees a matchup between two UFC veterans, as Robbie Lawler takes on Neil Magny in a welterweight bout. Whilst this will be the first meeting of the two inside the Octagon, Lawler and Magny were once teammates almost a decade ago at the beginning of “The Haitian Sensation’s” career. Magny, who holds the joint record for UFC victories in a calendar year (5, 2014), will be looking to build upon two successive victories as he continues to climb up the rankings.
Lawless, however, is the former champion who successfully defended his belt twice between 2014-2016. Having started his professional MMA career back in 2001, “Ruthless” is the more experienced of the pair and he will undoubtedly look to use this to his advantage on Saturday, in what promises to be an entertaining matchup between two veteran competitors.
Who claims the victory second time around?
This weekend will also see the highly anticipated rematch between European light heavyweights Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba. Ankalaev was declared the winner after a first round TKO when the pair first met back in March, extending his professional record to 13-1 in the process. The No. 13 ranked Russian is currently on a four-fight win streak and will be looking to improve upon that here to continue his ascent through the division.
Cutelaba, however, will hope to avenge his loss from the first encounter and return to winning ways. “The Hulk” currently holds a 15-5 career record and prior to meeting Ankalaev, had scored an impressive first round victory over Khalil Rountree. Both men have something to prove in this one, with the winner poised to climb the rankings in an intriguing light heavyweight division.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith vs. Aleksandar Rakic
Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler vs. Neil “The Haitian Sensation” Magny
Ji “Firefist” Yeon Kim vs. Alexa Grasso
Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas vs. Bill “Senor Perfecto” Algeo
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba
Maki “Coconut Bombz Pitolo” vs. Impa “Tshilobo” Kasanganay
Mallory Martin vs. Hannah “Shockwave” Cifers
Alessio “Shockwave” Di Chirico vs Zak Cummings
Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres vs Giga Chikadze
Polyana “Dama de Ferro” Viana vs Emily “Spitfire” Whitmire
Sean Brady vs Christian “The Beast” Aguilera