UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith confirmed that he will be the backup fighter for the upcoming UFC 283 light heavyweight title fight.
Smith was originally set to fight Jamahal Hill at a UFC Fight Night event in early 2023, but that fight isn’t happening anymore. The reason the fight was canceled isn’t due to injuries, but rather that Hill has been asked to step in and fight Glover Teixeira on short notice for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 283. With Hill moving up to fight Teixeira for the vacant title, it left Smith without an opponent. However, it looks like Smith will end up being the backup fighter in case something happens to either Hill or Teixeira and they are not able to step into the cage in January in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Speaking on the ESPN post-fight show following the recent UFC Vegas 66 card, Smith confirmed that he will be the backup fighter for the Hill vs. Teixeira vacant title fight at UFC 283.
“I am. I’m going to fly to Brazil. I’m going to weigh in at 205 pounds. I don’t suspect that these guys are gonna have problems, they’re both professionals, but if something does happen, I’ll be there to step in,” Smith said (via MMAjunkie.com).
What’s interesting here is that Smith is actually going to be training with Hill in preparation for the Teixeira fight. Hill called Smith and asked him if he was okay with training with him ahead of his title fight, and his opponent said he was fine with it. It would be quite something if Teixeira ended up getting hurt and Smith ended up fighting Hill for the vacant belt after training with him, but the hope is that both Hill and Teixeira remain healthy and this fight happens as planned.
What do you think about Anthony Smith being the backup fighter for the UFC 283 light heavyweight title fight?
The odds, according to betJACK, of Smith actually getting the call to the title fight remain to be seen.
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