The additional rounds did not matter for veteran Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) as he finished the fight against Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-5) in the 1st round of the last-minute main event bout of UFC Fight Night on Saturday, November 28 (Sunday, November 29, Philippine time) at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Smith steered clear from Clark’s aggressive striking and brought the fight to the ground where he looked for a unique twister finish. Clark, though, managed to scramble his way to the top position, but Smith wisely sneaked in a triangle choke that dropped the curtains early.
“I’m not going anywhere, don’t sleep on me,” said Smith, who had two straight losses coming into the fight.
The Smith-Clark bout was originally set as a three-round, co-main event in the postponed heavyweight clash between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. (READ: UFC main event off as Blaydes tests positive for COVID-19)
With the sudden move to the main event just a day before the bout, Smith and Clark agreed to make their meeting a five-round fight.
“I think I owe it to myself and to the fans,” Smith explained. “I owe it to Dana (White, UFC president) and the UFC because I had a couple of bad performances and it’s not my style – I don’t have boring fights.”
“I knew for a fact that Devin wasn’t gonna keep up that pace for 3 rounds. And even if he could, I know he couldn’t do that in 5 rounds, so 5 rounds favored me anyway,” he added.
Aside from ending his slump, Smith also finished the short win streak of Clark, who won his last two bouts via unanimous decision.
In the co-main event, the climb to the top continues for the undefeated welterweight prospect Miguel “Caramel Thunder” Baeza (10-0) as he took his first career submission victory against the Japanese fighter Takashi “Ten” Sato (16-4).
Baeza displayed impressive striking all throughout the fight before he scored a takedown and easily locked in an arm-triangle choke late in the 2nd round.
With this victory, Baeza now secures his third straight win in the UFC, which all ended in the 2nd round. – Rappler.com