UFC 277: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Anthony Smith Picks and Predictions
Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev
UFC: Saturday, July 30th at 10:00 PM ET
The Line: -- Anthony Smith +400 / Magomed Ankalaev -500 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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Magomed Ankalaev and Anthony Smith face off on Saturday on the main card in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Ankalaev is ranked 4th in the division while Smith is ranked 5th.
Magomed Ankalaev comes into this fight with a 17-1 record overall and after losing his first UFC fight he has won eight in a row. Ankalaev’s last fight came against Thiago Santos in March of 2022 and he won that fight by unanimous decision victory. Each of the last three wins has been by unanimous decision. Ankalaev is averaging 3.49 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.13 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.01 takedowns every 15 minutes but is only successful on 33 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 85 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts.
On the other side of this matchup is Anthony “Lionheart” Smith who sits with a 36-16 record overall and he has won three fights in a row. In his last fight against Ryann Spann, Smith looked really good and late in the first round he locked in a rear naked choke to secure the victory. Smith is averaging 3.03 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.31 significant strikes per minute. Smith is averaging 0.46 takedowns every 15 minutes and he is successful on 28 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 48 percent of his takedown attempts. Smith’s nickname is perfect for him, and he is a true warrior that isn’t afraid to take a ton of damage to try and win a fight.
Smith is a fighter who can finish almost anyone, but if he doesn’t do it early, he often wears down and is then defeated. Ankalaev isn’t always the most exciting fighter, but he knows what he needs to do to win fights, and that’s what he is going to do here. I think Smith is going to do enough to get this to a decision, but it won’t be enough to secure a win. Back Ankalaev to win by decision. This is one of my favorite plays.