Coming off of the most confidence-boosting, back-to-back victories of his career, Anthony Smith is more than eager to face the toughest competition the light heavyweight division has to offer. He is currently ranked No. 10, and a win over Volkan Oezdemir Saturday would propel him deeper into the rankings.
The two top 205ers will collide at UFC Fight Night 138 at the Moncton Events Centre in New Brunswick, Canada. As they prepare to get their hands dirty, here is a by-the-numbers look on the “Lionheart.”
3: Wins to start his professional career. He fought in Iowa and Nebraska, stopping his first two opponents by submission. In his fourth bout, he lost to Chuck Parmelee, but avenged this defeat when they rematched three months later.
20: Professional fights in regional promotions before Strikeforce took notice. He amassed a record of 13-7, with wins over future UFC standout Jake Hecht, as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA and World Extreme Cagefighting veterans Logan Clark, Eric Schambari and Jesse Forbes.
4: Fights in Strikeforce, and went 2-2. He defeated Ben Lagman and Lumumba Sayers, and lost to Adlan Amagov and Roger Gracie. Then, he was called by the UFC to face Antonio Braga Neto. Smith lost by kneebar and was released by the promotion.
2: Fights with Josh Neer. Like Smith, Neer was also freshly released by the UFC when they first fought at VFC 41, with Smith losing by rear-naked choke. Smith made it even when they met at VFC 47 and won by TKO due to elbows, taking the middleweight belt.
2: Championships to his name. Smith captured the middleweight titles in Victory Fighting Championships with his TKO of Neer and Cage Fury Fighting Championships with a submission of Tim Williams.
2: Fights in Bellator. He choked out Victor Moreno at Bellator 117 and decisioned Brian Green at Bellator 129.
17: Wins by knockout. Smith has KOd or TKOd some big names, which include Neer and Hector Lombard, and most recently, Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua.
142: Seconds combined time to stop Evans and Rua. He finished the former in 0:53 and the latter in 1:29.
2: Performance of the Night awards. Smith’s devastating knockouts of Rua and Elvis Mutapcic earned for himself $100,000 in bonus money.
58: Significant strikes given up to Thiago Santos in their UFC Fight Night 125 encounter, according to Fightmetric. One of those strikes dropped Smith to end an exciting bout that was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
10: Wins by submission. Smith has made great use of his length to complement his jiu-jitsu skills. He has two submission victories by armbar and the rest were by rear-naked choke, arm triangle and triangle choke.
3: Years in which he fought a total of six times. Smith was most active in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
30: Years of age. Smith was born on July 26, 1988 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He has been fighting professionally since 2008.