UFC Battle Evening – Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann –

“Gatekeeper” is one thing of a unclean phrase in fight sports activities. It means a fighter who is sweet sufficient to stay close to the highest of a division however not fairly on the degree of title contender. It is a fighter who, in case you can beat them, opens the door to the higher echelon of the rankings.

That is the precise factor at play Saturday within the UFC Battle Evening primary occasion in Las Vegas. Anthony Smith is the veteran (and former title contender) who has solidified his place as a related performer within the division, although he isn’t in reputable competition. His opponent, Ryan Spann, is attempting to vault himself into the title combine through the use of Smith’s identify and standing as a springboard.

Smith (35-16) has gained two straight and is coming off a first-round TKO win over prime prospect Jimmy Crute. The Nebraska native misplaced to then-champion Jon Jones in a title battle at UFC 235 in March 2019. Smith, 33, has been strong since shifting as much as gentle heavyweight from middleweight in 2018, going 6-Three with wins over former champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua in addition to former multiple-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.

Spann (19-6) is in search of his first actual signature win towards a prime gentle heavyweight. The Texas resident is coming off a first-round TKO win over Misha Cirkunov in March. Spann, 30, has gained 9 of his previous 10 fights and is a former LFA gentle heavyweight champion.

Within the co-main occasion, Devin Clark and Ion Cutelaba meet in a battle of sunshine heavyweights attempting to realize traction. Clark (12-5) had a two-fight successful streak snapped by Smith final November. Cutelaba (15-6-1, 1 NC) was as soon as thought-about a prime prospect however has only one win in his previous 5 fights.

Additionally on the cardboard, blue-chipper Arman Tsarukyan faces Christos Giagos in a light-weight battle, slugging gentle heavyweights Mike Rodriguez and Tafon Nchukwi face off, and Pannie Kianzad meets Raquel Pennington in a pivotal girls’s bantamweight matchup.

Observe alongside as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the motion, or watch every fight on ESPN+.

Battle in progress: Mild heavyweight: Mike Rodriguez (11-6 1 NC, 2-Four 1 NC UFC, +100) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (5-1, 1-1 UFC, -120)


Ladies’s bantamweight: Raquel Pennington (12-9, 9-6 UFC) def. Pannie Kianzad (16-6, 4-Three UFC) by unanimous determination

Recap to return.

Light-weight: Rong Zhu (18-4, 1-1 UFC) def. Brandon Jenkins (15-7, 0-1 UFC) by third-round TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Zhu earns his first UFC win with the 12th KO/TKO of his profession, beating up Jenkins for the higher a part of three rounds earlier than getting the end at 4:35 of the ultimate session.

Males’s bantamweight: Montel Jackson (11-2, 5-2 UFC) def. JP Buys (9-4, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous determination (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

After moving into hazard on the canvas briefly, Jackson took management and damage Bays a number of occasions on the best way to his second straight victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Jackson, an enormous betting favourite (-650), had 4 knockdowns, probably the most ever in a UFC males’s bantamweight battle and tied (with six others) for third most in any UFC bout. It was simply the eighth time in UFC historical past {that a} fighter in any weight class has landed 4 or extra knockdowns in a battle.

Ladies’s flyweight: Erin Blanchfield (7-1, 1-Zero UFC) def. Sarah Alpar (9-6, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous determination (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Blanchfield made a formidable UFC debut, successful her fourth straight battle with a dominant determination win (30-25, 30- 25, 30- 26).

Blanchfield, a -380 betting favourite, managed the motion from begin to end, testing Alpar’s toughness the entire means. In response to UFC Stats, she outlanded Alpar 120-41 in vital strikes, had a plus-20 or extra putting benefit in all three rounds, was three of three on takedowns (whereas Alpar landed none) and had 9:43 of management time.

Welterweight: Carlston Harris (18-4, 3-Zero UFC) def. Impa Kasanganay (9-3, 2-Three UFC) by first-round TKO (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Harris cashes as a +100 underdog by swarming Kasanganay and getting the TKO 2:38 into the battle.

He’s on a five-fight successful streak, all of them coming by end (three KO/TKOs, two submissions).

Males’s bantamweight: Gustavo Lopez (12-6-1, 1-2-1 UFC) and Heili Alateng (14-8-2, 2-1-1 UFC) fought to a draw (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Lopez and Alatengheili battle to the fourth draw within the UFC in 2021. It is Alatengheili’s second profession draw and the primary for Lopez.

Alatengheili was deducted a degree within the third spherical for grabbing the cage.

Ladies’s flyweight: Hannah Goldy (6-2, 1-2 UFC) def. Emily Whitmire (4-5, 2-Four UFC) by first-round submission (Watch this fight on ESPN+)

Goldy opens the present by getting the tapout through armbar at 4:17 of the opening spherical to earn her first UFC win and her first profession win by submission. She cashes as a +105 underdog.

It’s Whitmire’s third consecutive UFC loss. All 5 of her profession defeats have come through submission. Her 4 submission losses within the UFC are tied for probably the most within the promotion since she debuted in 2017.

Nonetheless to return:

Mild heavyweight: Anthony Smith (35-16, 10-6 UFC, -170) vs. Ryan Spann (19-6, 5-1 UFC, +145)
Mild heavyweight: Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1 1 NC, 4-5-1 UFC, -150) vs. Devin Clark (12-5, 6-5 UFC, +125)
Ladies’s flyweight: Ariane Lipski (13-7, 2-Four UFC, -120) vs. Mandy Bohm (7-0, 0-Zero UFC, +100)
Light-weight: Arman Tsarukyan (16-2, 3-1 UFC, -800) vs. Christos Giagos (19-8, 5-Four UFC, +525)
Males’s bantamweight: Nate Maness (13-1, 2-Zero UFC, +175) vs. Tony Gravely (21-6, 2-1 UFC, -210)
Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley (12-4, 2-2 UFC, -200) vs. Antonio Arroyo (9-4, 0-2 UFC, +170)

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