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|Ji Yeon Kim||+233
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Aleksandar Rakic -278
Robbie Lawler +200
Ji Yeon Kim +233
Ricardo Lamas -265
Ion Cutelaba +250
Coming off of the most devastating loss of his UFC career, Anthony Smith looks to get back into the win column Saturday night when he takes on Aleksandar Rakic in the main event of UFC Fight Night 175. Rakic is also coming off of a loss but has only two losses on his professional record – his first fight and his most recent. He won twelve straight between the two.
The co-main event will see two of the most entertaining welterweights do battle as former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, who is coming off of a loss to Colby Covington, takes on Neil Magny, who has won two in a row.
The UFC Fight Night main card this Saturday will also host the long-awaited rematch between Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev. Their first fight, back in February, was marred by controversy after the fight was called a KO for Ankalaev despite Cutelaba still being responsive and on his feet. This is the third rescheduled date for the rematch.
|What||UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic|
|Where||UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV|
|When||Saturday, August 29, 6PM EST|
|How to watch||TSN, Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Anthony was quite the story in the UFC up until his most recent fight. After moving up to the light heavyweight from the middleweight division, Smith ran through two legends in a row in Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua and made it three wins in a row when he defeated former title challenger Volkan Oezdimir. He was granted the next shot at Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title but was ultimately defeated via unanimous decision. But Smith didn’t slow down. He followed the fight with Jones with an incredibly impressive submission victory over the former three-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. He was back in the win column. But then he met Glover Teixeira.
In what was one of the most controversial fights of the year thus far, Smith was dominated through much of the fight, leaving fans and pundits arguing as to whether Smith’s corner should have thrown in the towel. Teixeira was ultimately awarded the TKO victory in the fifth round. Smith hopes to put that loss behind him this Saturday night.
Smith stands at 6 ft. 4 in. and has a reach of 76 inches. The Omaha, Nebraska native still trains out of his hometown with Factory X under coach Mark Montoya. The 32-year-old holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Fighting professionally since 2008, Smith still ranks as the number-five light heavyweight in the UFC.
Despite the wins, Aleksandar has racked up in his UFC career thus far, a win over Anthony Smith would undoubtedly be the biggest. It would be his first win over a former title challenger. His latest fight came against a former title challenger but Rakic was unsuccessful in the bout, losing via split-decision to Volkan Oezdimir last December. Prior to that loss, Rakic had been undefeated in the UFC and was riding a 12-fight win streak with wins over the likes of Jimi Manuwa, Devin Clark, and Justin Ledet. His head kick victory over Manuwa won him a performance of the night bonus.
Born in Austria, Rakic stands equal to Anthony Smith at 6 ft. 4 in. tall. However, he will enter the cage with a two-inch reach advantage over his opponent. Fighting out of his home country with Gym 23, Rakic holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Robert Pastuch. Four years younger than Smith, Rakic has been fighting professionally since 2011 and is currently ranked as the 8th-best light heavyweight in the promotion.
The MMA world has not been kind to Robbie Lawler since losing the welterweight title. Lawler lost the title to Tyron Woodley via first-round knockout in 2016. Since then, the former champion has gone just 1-3. He bounced back immediately from the title loss with a win over Donald Cerrone but followed that fight with a unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos. That fight was followed by the now-infamous “bulldog choke” loss to the debuting Ben Askren. The fight was stopped when Askren had Lawler in a headlock despite Lawler never tapping out. In his most recent fight, Lawler would lose his third fight in a row, losing a unanimous decision loss to top contender Colby Covington last August. It has been a little over a year since Lawler has stepped into the octagon. He is a last-minute replacement for Geoff Neal, who was pulled from the fight.
Born in California, Robbie Lawler now trains in Florida with Sanford MMA. The former welterweight champion stands at 5 ft. 11 in. tall and has a reach of 74 inches. The southpaw fighter is known for his knockout power and aggression when fighting. At 38-years of age, Lawler has been active in MMA since 2001. He is the only fighter to win Fight of the Year three years in a row and he currently ranks in the welterweight division at number thirteen.
Never overly flashy, Neil Magny has been steadily climbing the welterweight rankings since 2017. He had won two fights in a row, including a win over the former interim-champion Carlos Condit, before suffering a setback against Santiago Ponzinibbio in 2018. He has since bounced back from that loss with another two-fight winning streak. He most recently fought at UFC 250 last June against Anthony Rocco Martin. Magny won the fight via unanimous decision.
The Brooklyn-born fighter stands at 6 ft. 3 in. tall, giving him a four-inch advantage in height over Robbie Lawler. His height also attributes to his reach, in which he will also have a six-inch advantage over his opponent. A former middleweight, Magny currently trains out of Colorado with the Elevation Fight Team. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Miguel Torres and Andre Leite. Fighting since 2010, Magny is five years younger than his opponent and currently ranks as the 14th-best welterweight in the division.
Alexa Grasso has traded wins and losses over the past few years, going 3-3 over her last six fights. She has notable wins over Randa Markos and Karolina Kowalkiewicz but seems to come up short against opponents ranked in the top-10 of the division. She has lost to Felice Herrig, Tatiana Suarez, and, most recently, Carla Esparza. The fight against Esparza took place last September. Although named as the Fight of the Night, Grasso was ultimately defeated via unanimous decision. Struggling to make the 115-pound weight limit for the strawweight division over her career, this will be Grasso’s flyweight debut.
Born in Mexico, Grasso trains in her home country at Lobo Gym. She stands at 5 ft. 5 in. tall and possesses a reach of 66 inches. Known for her boxing, Grasso holds the record for the second-most significant strikes thrown in a fight at 369 (against Kowalkiewicz). She holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been fighting since 2012. At just 27-years-old, Grasso is ranked as the 14th-best strawweight in the UFC.
Making her UFC debut in 2017, Ji Yeon Kim has gone 3-2 under the banner. She lost her debut but came back to win two straight over both Justine Kish and Melinda Fabian. In her fourth UFC fight, she took on the sister of the flyweight champion, Antonina Shevchenko. Kim would lose the fight via unanimous decision in late 2018. Her last fight took place in October 2019 when she fought Nadia Kassem at UFC 243. Kim would catch Kassem with a body shot in the second round and win the fight via knock out. However, it should be noted that Kim missed weight, weighing in at three pounds over the flyweight limit.
Born in South Korea, the 30-year-old fighter stands two inches taller than Grasso at 5 ft. 7 in. and has a reach of 72 inches – giving her a significant six-inch reach advantage over her opponent. Kim trains with Impact Gym out of South Korea and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a black belt in wushu, and a third-degree black belt in hapkido. She has been fighting since 2013 and is currently ranked as the 13th-best women’s flyweight in the UFC.
A veteran of the UFC, Ricardo Lamas made his debut for the promotion back in 2011 with his first UFC loss coming against Joe Aldo in a featherweight title match in 2014. Things haven’t gone his way too much over the past two years, however, as he is just 1-3 over his last four fights. Lamas dropped back-to-back losses, one by knockout by Josh Emmett, but bounced back in late 2018 with a TKO win over the always-tough Darren Elkins. Following the win, Lamas was put up against rising star Calvin Kattar last June at UFC 238. In the last minute of round one, Kattar knocked out Lamas with a punch. Saturday night will be his first fight in more than a year. Lamas was originally set to face Ryan Hall in his next bout but Hall was forced to pull out due to an undisclosed injury.
Standing at 5 ft. 8 in. tall, the Chicago native has a reach of 71 inches. Currently training out of Miami, Florida with the Alpha Phi Chupapi team, Lamas holds NCAA Division II wrestling credentials as well as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Daniel Valverde. At 38-years-old, Lamas has been fighting since 2008. He is currently unranked in the UFC featherweight division.
Stepping in as a short-notice replacement is difficult for any fighter, let alone a fighter who is doing so as his UFC debut. Replacing the injured Ryan Hall, Bill Algeo will make his promotional debut Saturday night coming off of a CFFC 83 unanimous decision win over Tim Dooling.
Standing at an even 6-feet tall, Algeo will have a three-inch height advantage over Lamas as well as a 2.5-inch reach advantage. Fighting out of Pennsylvania, Algeo trains with the Algeo MMA and Kickboxing gym. He is 31-years-old.
Prior to the first matchup between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba, Ankalaev had won three straight. After losing his UFC debut to Paul Craig in 2018, Ankalaev defeated Marcin Prachnio, Klidson Abreu, and Dalcha Lungiambula. The TKO win over Cutelaba in February marked his fourth-straight victory although the fight is still expected to be looked over by the Virginia State Athletic Commission to determine if the win will stand or if the decision will be turned over and deemed a no-contest.
Born in Dagestan, the Russian fighter stands at 6 ft. 2 in. tall and has a reach of 75 inches. He currently trains out of his home country with the Gorets team and head trainer Sukhrab Magomedov. He holds an international master of sport in amateur MMA as well as a master of sport in combat sambo. He has been fighting professionally since 2014 and is currently ranked as the 13th-best light heavyweight in the UFC promotion.
Including the controversial loss to Ankalaev, Cutelaba has gone just 3-2 over his last five UFC appearances. He had won two in a row before being submitted by Glover Teixeira last April. His next fight would take place in September 2019 where he was pitted against Khalil Rountree, Jr. Cutelaba would win the fight in the first round by TKO. It was a huge win over a rising star and it had Cutelaba heading into the first fight with Ankalaev as the favorite to win.
Born in Moldova, “The Hulk” stands one-inch shorter than his opponent but has an equal 75-inch reach in the fight. Training with the Timoshkov Sports Club, Cutelaba is known for his grappling skills in sambo, judo, and Greco-roman wrestling. He has been fighting professionally since 2012 and at just 26-years-old, he already seems poised to break into the division’s top-15.
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