Silencing the Swedish crowd in a heartbeat, Anthony Smith pulled off a fourth-round submission of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Stockholm on Saturday night.
UFC Stockholm was headlined by Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith. The two were looking to rebound from losses to light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones, and course correct their careers once more.
Not much action in the first round starting out. Anthony Smith walked forward and planted his feet as Gustafsson had his back to the cage. But with Gustafsson and Smith both looking for counter punches, both fighters started a waiting game. After a few leg kicks from Smith, Alexander’s shin started bleeding quite bad. The round went on with Smith landing more shots and Gustafsson struggling to find his range. Alexander landed a big left hand at the end of the first round that had Smith backpedaling a bit, but not in any crazy danger.
Round two began as Gus started to push the pace a bit more. Smith pushed to the cage again and planted his feet again, and Gus just looked at him. Smith started to throw more haymakers at the beginning of the round but Guatafsson’s footwork was a little too much. Anthony Smith landed several good shots, but for the most part, Gustafsson had good enough foot work and head movement to avoid most of the damage. Smith landed a big left hook that did nothing to Gustafsson. In the last minute, Gustafsson turned up the pressure and started to take the fight to Smith.
Round three opened with a noticeable uptick in action. Both fighters started throwing heat with it going 50-50. Gus continueed to slip and parry Smith, he looked a step ahead of Lionheart, and a tad bit faster later on in the fight. Both fighters slowed it down in the middle of the round. Opting for more of a chess match, Gus exploded when he deemed appropriate, keeping Smith on the defensive. Gus caught Smith with a straight jab wobbling Smith slightly, but crucially Gus didn’t over-commit. Gus then landed a huge body kick and took Smith down, immediately getting side control. The Swede opened up with ground and pound in the last ten seconds of the round. The fight at this point had now drug into deep waters, where Gustafsson thrives.
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As round four started, Gustafsson was still light on his feet. Smith meanwhile was coming with some heat at the start of the round with head kicks and one-two combos. Gus shot for a takedown and was denied, tried a hip toss and instead Gustafsson was taken down himself. Smith got control back but was too high on Gus’ back. However, Lionheart was able to take away the base of Gustafsson, and landed some ground and pound before sneaking in a rear naked choke. The choke ultimately finisheed Alexander Gustafsson in the fourth round.
A huge win, earning plenty of kudos, for Anthony Smith, in enemy territory!
Calling Smith a “f*cking beast” and a great guy, Gustafsson took his gloves off in the cage afterward. “The show is over guys,” he said, leaving them in the cage before making his exit.
Anthony Smith def. Alexander Gustafsson by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 4, 2:38