The show must go on.
Although the UFC on ESPN 18 main event between heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis was scrapped due to a positive COVID-19 test from Blaydes, the 10-fight card pushes on. A light-heavyweight bout between former title challenger Anthony Smith and Devin Clark headlines the event inside the UFC Apex tonight.
Smith is looking to right the ship after two consecutive losses in 2020 to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic. Smith has been in the octagon with the best in the world and looks to use his experience over the surging Devin Clark.
Clark has seen a successful 2020 with consecutive wins, most recently against Alonzo Menifield at UFC 250 in June. For Clark, a victory over Rakic back in 2018 may give him a slight edge in tonight’s matchup. A win for Clark would solidify him for more top-10 matchups and even a spot in the top-15 himself.
Devin Clark started off quickly with a flurry of strikes. Clark went to take Smith down, but Smith took the better end of that. After a minute of awkward position on the ground, Clark reversed the position to top guard. While Smith was reversed, he used his jiu-jitsu experience to his advantage. Clark threw a few strikes to Smith before Smith got a bottom triangle choke. It was quick work for Smith tonight. While he wanted a higher-ranked competitor, he certainly proved his worth this evening.
“Its been a long road man,” Smith told Paul Felder.
“I guess I want to make everything hard. But I said in the ring, ‘I’m not going anywhere,'” Smith continued.
Smith continued on his jump up from co-main event to main event. A last second decision to train for five rounds from the initial three rounds gave Smith a boost in confidence.
“Five rounds favored me,” Smith stated.
“I can wrestle. I just gotta do it … I knew he couldn’t stand with me for 15-25 minutes,” Smith finished
Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark via triangle choke (1st Rd. 2:34)