Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith just took place at UFC 277. It was the very first fight on the main card and the winner definitely would have been in the running for a title shot next. Anthony was 5th in the division ahead of the fight, whereas Magomed occupied 4th place in the division.
Following a few setbacks, Anthony has turned his career around in a massive way. After two successive defeats to Aleksandar Rakic and Glover Teixeira, Lionheart has beaten Devin Clark, Jimmy Crute and Ryan Spann. He wanted to fight for the light heavyweight championship before retiring. So a win over Ankalaev was a must for the veteran fighter.
Hello and welcome to the #UFC277 main card 🤩@AnkalaevM go head-to-head @LionheartASmith to get things started!— UFC (@ufc) July 31, 2022
[ #UFC277 | Main Card LIVE on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/U0PbshOSlW ] pic.twitter.com/iem8YysocB
The 30-year-old Magomed Ankalaev was on an 8-fight win streak heading into the fight at UFC 277. Although he suffered a bad loss against Paul Craig on his debut in the company, he was an unstoppable force in the division. In his last two fights, Magomed had beaten Thiago Santos and Volkan Oezdemir. Both of them fought for the 205lbs title previously.
So who prevailed in the fight between Magomed Ankalaev and Anthony Smith? Let’s find out!
Magomed Ankalaev beats Anthony Smith via TKO at UFC 277
Anthony Smith tried to put Magomed Ankalaev on his back foot pretty early in the fight. The 34-year-old tried to fire away a few leg kicks and body kicks. But the Russian was very aware of Smith’s game plan and checked the kicks without any fail. Although the first few minutes of the round were a bit slow, things started to heat up with 90 seconds left on the clock.
Smith finished the round on his back as he slipped and Ankalaev did not jump in his guard. Instead, he stayed on his feet and used leg kicks to end the round. Anthony started round 2 with a lot more urgency. It seemed like there was something wrong with Smith’s ankle. Hence, he shot for a takedown against Ankalaev instead of trying to use his striking.
But the move backfired as the combat sambo expert eventually found a way to Anthony’s back and finished the bout with brutal ground and pound. Following the stoppage, Anthony seemed to confirm to the commentators that his left leg was broken.
With this win, Magomed increases his win streak to 9 fights and it will be hard to deny him a UFC title shot in the very near future. After being asked about whether he sensed Smith breaking his leg, Magomed had a very witty reply.
“I didn’t know about that, but who do you think broke it? He hit me!’
Ankalaev also called for a title shot following the TKO win over Anthony Smith.