Roman Dolidze Takes Decision Victory Over Smith On Short Notice

Anthony Smith and Roman Dolidze, UFC 303
Anthony Smith and Roman Dolidze, UFC 303 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Las Vegas – UFC middleweight Roman Dolidze took a chance moving up to 205 on short notice against Anthony Smith and came out with a win and any options on Saturday night.

Dolidze going after the lead leg of Smith’s and trying to take out the lead leg and the power. Keep in mind neither of these men were really prepared to face each other before tonight.

Both men stood in front of each other for the majority of the fight. Both chose to attack the legs with calf kicks to the point that Dolidze would smile and laugh when Smith hit him. When Dolidze hit Smith with calf kicks he did show that he felt it.

In the first round, with one minute left, Smith attempted to blitz Dolidze in order to solidify the round for himself. Dolidze, to his credit, was able to work Smith in that instance like a matador. Smith’s corner asked him to “let his hands go” as the round ended, but he was hesitant. The crowd booed as the first round ended.

The second round brought more of the same in the beginning, but Dolidze was able to drop Smith and land some damage from top. Dolidze must have thought Smith was hurt, but the 205 veteran covered up and defended well enough that his opponent changed to trying to take the back. Smith worked wrist control for most of the remainder of the round to avoid getting choked.

Third round both men were clearly exhausted. They both threw, but it was almost like they were taking turns. The majority of the fight did have a feel of a sparring session, but keeping in mind that this was a very late notice fight, it made sense.

Dolidze takes the decision and he called out Khamzat Chimaev at 185 pounds.

Official Result: Roman Dolidze def. Anthony Smith via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)