Light-heavyweight contender Anthony Smith will return to the octagon for the first time since his lopsided loss to Glover Teixeira. ‘Lionheart’ is set to meet European standout Aleksandar Rakic in Las Vegas on August 29. MMA Play 365 broke the news on social media earlier today, they wrote.
“MMAPLAY365 EXCLUSIVE: The UFC are working on a huge Light Heavyweight fight with Aleksandar Rakic vs. Anthony Smith. Per sources, both fighters have signed to fight on August 29th in Las Vegas. #UFC #UFCFightNight.”
Rakic appeared to be the next contender at light-heavyweight after starting his UFC career with four impressive wins. His biggest victory to date is a highlight-reel head kick KO of long-time contender Jimi Manuwa. Last time out Raktic dropped a split decision to former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Busan. He’ll be hoping to get back into title contention on August 29.
Smith has looked good since moving up from middleweight to light-heavyweight. Three wins over Rashad Evans, ‘Shogun’ Rua and Volkan Oezdemir earned him a shot at 205lb great Jon Jones. Although Smith fell short against the champ he proved himself tough and game throughout the fight. He quickly bounced back from that loss to claim the biggest win of his career against Alexander Gustafsson. ‘Lionheart’ seemed primed for another title run buy it was savagely derailed by Teixeira at UFC Jacksonville in May. The Brazilian beat the breaks off of Smith for several rounds before the fight was eventually waved off. Post-fight the Smith corner and referee Jason Herzog took immense criticism for failing to call the fight off earlier and allowing Smith to take too much damage during the bout. Smith though disagreed with public opinion despite the fact he suffered an array of injuries in the fight including a broken orbital bone, broken nose, and smashed teeth.
Will Anthony Smith return to winning ways against Aleksandar Rakic?