A pivotal light heavyweight bout has been added to UFC 277 on July 30.
After Dana White did an interview with the Pivot podcast, the war room was leaked with a ton of potential matchups the UFC was discussing and one was Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith. Shortly after the podcast went live, MMAJunkie was able to confirm the fight will indeed happen at UFC 277 at a location TBD. The board said the location is between Boston, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Dallas.
Magomed Ankalaev (17-1) is coming off his first UFC main event where he beat Thiago Santos by decision in a lackluster fight. He’s currently on an eight-fight win streak since losing his UFC debut by submission with one second to go against Paul Craig. The Russian was dominating the fight but got caught in a triangle choke and tapped at 4:59 of the third round.
During his win streak, Ankalaev holds notable wins over Volkan Oezdemir, Nikita Krylov, Ion Cutelaba, twice, and Marcin Prachnio among others in the UFC. Prior to signing with the UFC, he was the WFCA light heavyweight champion. He’s also currently ranked fourth at light heavyweight.
Anthony Smith (36-16) is ranked fifth at light heavyweight and is on a three-fight win streak and last fought back in September where he submitted Ryan Spann in the first round. Prior to that, he scored a TKO win over Jimmy Crute and submitted Devin Clark in the first round to get back into the win column.
Before the win streak, ‘Lionheart’ was 1-3 in his last four which started by losing to Jon Jones for the belt. After the title fight loss, he made a quick return and submitted Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden. Yet, Smith then suffered a beatdown of a loss to Glover Teixeira and a lackluster decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic.
With the addition of Ankalaev vs. Smith, UFC 277 is as follows:
- Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith