One-time UFC light heavyweight championship challenger, Anthony Smith has revealed he plans to travel to Brazil in January and serve as the official backup fighter to the UFC 283 vacant light heavyweight title fight featuring former foe, Glover Teixeira, and once-scheduled opponent, Jamahal Hill.
Smith, who is currently ranked as the #6 light heavyweight contender under the banner of the promotion, was scheduled to headline a UFC Fight Night event against incoming title challenger, Hill in March of next year, however, saw the matchup fall to the wayside.
Following this month’s UFC 282 title fight between former champion, Jan Blachowicz, and Magomed Ankalaev – which ended in a split decision draw, leaving no light heavyweight champion, the UFC elected to book another vacant fight for UFC 283 in January, featuring Teixeira, and the aforenoted, Hill.
Anthony Smith offers his services as a backup fighter for UFC 283
Losing his scheduled return fight with the Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Anthony Smith has now revealed he plans to travel to Rio de Janeiro for the January 23. pay-per-view event, in the hope of serving as an official backup.
“I am. I’m going to fly to Brazil,” Anthony Smith said on the ESPN desk during the UFC Vegas 66 broadcast. “I’m going to weigh in at 205 pounds. I don’t suspect that these guys (Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill) are gonna have problems, they’re both professionals, but if something does happen, I’ll be there to step in.”
Last featuring at UFC 277 back in July, Nebraska native, Smith suffered a second round knockout loss to Ankalaev, suffering an ankle injury to boot. The loss snapped a run of three consecutive finishes for Smith, who defeated Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute, and Ryan Spann.
Featuring in the main event of a UFC Fight Night Jacksonville event against former undisputed champion, Teixeira back in May 2020, Smith dropped an eventual fifth round ground strikes TKO loss to the Minas Gerais favorite.
Competing for undisputed light heavyweight gold back in March 2019 against Jon Jones, Smith suffering a unanimous decision loss to the former pound-for-pound number one over the course of five rounds.