2019年09月12日 category : 未分類 

A couple of the top-ranked light heavyweight contenders in the world are set to square off in the spring, and below are my initial thoughts on this pivotal matchup at 205lbs.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith, UFC Fight Night 152
With both men coming from losses to Jon Jones in their past respective excursions, the UFC matchmakers have gone matched up Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith for the main event of UFC Fight Night 152. The card takes place June 1 in Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, also this five-round headlining bout was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
At first glance, this is a fight which makes sense with both men needing to rally following their losses to Jones. Gustafsson endured a TKO defeat to Jones at the main event of UFC 232, while Smith lost a lopsided decision to Jones in UFC 235. With the UFC having a main event for its return to Sweden, it obviously made sense for Gustafsson to headline the card, also for Smith it has a chance to acquire another main event fight after years of being a journeyman in the game.
At precisely the same time, however, it’s very surprising to see Smith get back in the cage soon and sign up a bout agreement not even two weeks after getting beat up real good by Jones at UFC 235. Smith didn’t mount much crime in that fight and bore the brunt about 25 minutes of Jones’ strikes, and afterwards said he wished to take some time away to rest and relax after a busy schedule in 2018 and 2019. Certainly, however, the allure of getting another main event slot against a top competition like Gustafsson was too much for Smith to pass on.
Gustafsson (18-5) is 10-5 overall in the UFC and before the loss to Jones had won back-to-back fights over Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz. Always a bridesmaid, Gustafsson has been one of the top contenders in 205lbs for much of the 2010s but has never been able to acquire the title despite three fractures in it, two against Jones and one against Daniel Cormier. Smith (31-14) is 7-4 overall in the UFC but is 3-1 since moving up to light heavyweight, with wins over Mauricio”Shogun” Rua, Rashad Evans and Volkan Oezdemir winning him a shot at Jones. He revealed against Jones that he’s just not on the champ’s degree, but he remains a very solid contender at 205lbs.
In terms of the opening betting line for this battle, I feel the oddsmakers will place Gustafsson as the favorite here, though I doubt he opens over 2-to-1. Smith has shown since moving up to light heavyweight that he has more knockout power and endurance in his new weight class, and that I wouldn’t completely count him out of this struggle. However, Gustafsson is the skilled fighter and will obviously be fighting in his hometown which should give him an increase. Regardless of who wins, this ought to be a rather exciting matchup between two of the greatest dogs at the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
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