UFC Vegas 37 is now in the books, and we’re back with three takeaways from Saturday’s card.
UFC Vegas 37’s 14 fight card had a lot of storylines heading into it, and despite being one of the more slept on ESPN cards of the year, it delivered loads of action. Long doesn’t always mean good, so that was a pleasant surprise. Now that it’s in the books, here are three of the biggest takeaways from Smith vs Spann.
1. Anthony Smith deserves another crack at the top five.
Fair is fair.
Anthony Smith rose up through the light heavyweight division quickly in 2018, defeating Rashad Evans, Shogun Rua, and Volkan Oezdemir en route to a title shot against then-champion Jon Jones. However, upon getting his title shot against Jones at UFC 235, he wound up dominated and would go on to lose two of his next three fights. Those saw him absolutely annihilated against both Glover Teixeira and Alexander Rakic.
After the loss to Rakic, it seemed as if the UFC began to view Smith as more a gatekeeper than a contender. A guy just good enough to stay in the top 10 but a level below the top five, and he was used as such in terms of matchmaking. Smith’s last few fights have been against prospects that the UFC is testing to see if they’re the real deal. Facing a red-hot Devin Clark, a hyped-up Jimmy Crute, and then the powerful Ryan Spann at UFC Vegas 37.
Guess what happened? They were all finished, they were all turned away from the top five by Smith. Afterward, he called out Alexander Rakic for a rematch in December, and guess what? He entirely deserves it. Smith has fought down in his match-ups in his last three fights, and that’s something that very few highly ranked fighters do more than once or twice. Simply put, Anthony Smith deserves another crack at the top five at 205.