On Saturday Night, UFC Fight Night will be headlined by a Top Ten light heavyweight matchup. No. 2 Ranked Volkan Oezdemir seeks to get back in the win column, as No. 10 ranked Anthony Smith hopes to extend his winning streak to three. Each fighter respectively enters the cage with tremendous knockout power. Fight fans can’t expect this bout reach the third round in this scheduled five-round contest. The fights are taken place in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The early prelims will be shown on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 EST. followed by the undercard airing on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) at 8 PM, and the main card airing live on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) at 10 PM est.
5 Reasons Anthony Smith Defeats Volkan Oezdemir:
5.) On a High Note:
Smith is coming off two of the biggest victories in his career. Daniel Cormier described Smith as a “Legend Killer” after his impressive two first-round TKO finishes versus Mauricio Rua and Rashad Evans. “Lionheart” finished Rua at 1:29 and Evans at 0:53. Capturing five KO/TKO finishes in his last six fights, Smith proves his power can shut the lights out on anyone standing across from him inside the octagon. Oezdemir is coming off a TKO loss to Daniel Cormier back in January of 2018. Finishing legends such as Rua and Evans boosts the already growing confidence of Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
4.) Physical Stature:
The No. 10 ranked light heavyweight stands at six foot four inches tall. Claiming two inches in height over his No. 2 ranked opponent. Smith has a 76-inch reach and a 44-inch leg reach. The American’s six-foot-four-inch wingspan holds an inch advantage over Volkan Oezdemir, in addition to a four-inch leg reach advantage. The significance of his reach is the striking of Smith is mostly conducted from the outside. Using his length against his foes, Smith can pick apart Oezdemir from the outside where Daniel Cormier found much success against the Switzerland fighter in the first round of their light heavyweight title fight. Expect Smith to circle, create angles while peppering Oezdemir and utilizing his front kick to keep the twenty-nine-year-old away from the American’s body.
Smith, a Corpus Christi, Texas native, has been a professional fighter since the age of 19, and now at 30, he holds a record of 30-13, doubling the number of victories as his opponent. Oezdemir sits at 15-2 in his professional MMA career entering his main event fight on October 27, at the Avenir Center (formerly known as Moncton Events Centre), in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Stepping into the octagon Saturday night will be Smith’s tenth fight under the UFC banner, compared to Oezdemir’s upcoming fifth bout in the UFC. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith’s experience inside the Octagon, plus his 26 fight advantage will help him in situations inside the cage.
2.) Gables Grip:
The American has the advantage on the canvas when it comes to the grappling game. Smith has racked up ten submission victories throughout his career. “Lionheart” has earned a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu. As Oezdemir presses forward, it leaves him open for a blast double and could be an opportunity for Smith to take the fight to the ground. The geography of the will most likely take place standing but if the battle drops to the canvas, expect Smith to take over.
1.) Ring Rust:
Though I don’t usually believe the hype of ring rust, I do believe when a fighter is consistently active inside the cage he finds a rhythm. Smith will be entering the cage for the fourth time in 2018. After losing to Thiago Santos via a liver kick, Smith climbed back to the winning column with fast finishes over two legends in the first round. Oezdemir last fought in January in of 2018, suffering a tough loss in a title fight against one of the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, Daniel Cormier. A ten-month layoff is a long time to be out of competition against a fighter with three bouts in a nine-month span. Smith will look like the fresher fighter inside the cage and will appear to be younger even though he is the elder by a year.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith defeats Volkan Oezdemir via TKO (Ground-and-pound) in round two.
Check out the counter-point from Matt Bricker of MMASucka here.