- Anthony Smith has opened as the +300 underdog against Magomed Ankalaev.
- Meanwhile, Ankalaev has opened as the betting favorite in his 9th consecutive UFC bout.
- Smith and Ankalaev are set to meet at UFC 277 on July 30 in what could be a potential no. 1 contender fight.
Anthony Smith is currently a sizable betting underdog in his upcoming bout against Magomed Ankalaev.
The UFC former lightweight title challenger opened at +300 odds against Ankalaev who hit the betting boards at a -400 price:
— BestFightOdds (@BestFightOdds) June 7, 2022
Smith and Ankalaev are set to meet at UFC 277 on July 30 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas where Juliana Pena and Amanda Nunes will dispute the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the main event.
Smith Forces Ryan Spann to Submit
— Sherdog (@sherdogdotcom) September 20, 2021
Smith heads to this potential no. 1 contender fight with three straight victories since suffering back-to-back losses to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in 2020. In his most recent bout at the main event of UFC Vegas 37, Smith made quick work of Ryan Spann and forced Spann to submit to a rear-naked choke at the 3:47 mark of the opening round. The victory also earned Lionheart a second Performance of the Night bonus in his last three fights.
The 33-year-old from Corpus Christi, Texas is a veteran competitor who has been fighting since 2008. Smith was a champion at Cage Fury FC and Victory FC. He also fought for Strikeforce and Bellator before joining the UFC. Smith challenged Jon Jones for the UFC’s 205-pound belt at UFC 235 but lost via unanimous decision. He has a record of 36-16 with 20 knockouts and 14 submission wins.
Lionheart will have the plus money sign next to his name for the first time since he closed at +200 again Rakic in August 2020. Smith entered the Octagon as the betting favorite in his last three bouts. He opened at -160 and closed at -177 odds at the BetOnline App when he fought Spann the last time out.
Ankalaev Beats Thiago Santos
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 13, 2022
Ankalaev has won eight consecutive bouts inside the UFC Octagon since losing his promotional debut against Paul Craig in 2018. In his last bout, Ankalaev defeated Thiago Santos in a clear but boring unanimous decision. Prior to that bout, Ankalaev also defeated another former UFC light heavyweight title challenger in Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 267.
The 30-year-old from Dagestan is a former light heavyweight champion at World Fighting Championship Akhmat and is the current no. 4 ranked 205-pound fighter in the UFC. He joined the promotion as an unbeaten fighter but suffered his first professional loss in his first UFC bout. Overall, he has a record of 17-1 with nine knockouts.
Ankalaev has never been the betting underdog in a UFC bout. In his first eight UFC bouts, he has not closed at odds longer than +200. He opened at -158 against Santos in his last fight, his shortest opening odds ever in the UFC, but closed as the heavy -625 favorite in that bout.