Tyler Monahan previews this weekend’s UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas and shares his best bets, including his pick from Smith v Rakic.
After last week’s seemingly thrown together card of fights for UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs Munhoz we are back for another night full of interesting matchups. Edgar vs Munhoz exceeded expectations and fans hope we get more of the same in the Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic fight and all others on the card.
All odds from FoxBet Sportsbook.
UFC Record: 11-6
Alexa Grasso vs Ji Yeon Kim
Two women looking to move up the ranks of the flyweight division, both Alexa Grasso and Ji Yeon Kim have fighting styles that look like they will complement each other. Both women look to stay on their feet throughout the fight and throw heavy punches in an attempt to knock someone out. What is surprising is that although they both love to throw punches on their feet in an attempt at a finish neither has many to their record. Kim has two knockout wins in her nine career victories and Grasso has four knockouts in 11 wins. Grasso has an easier time ducking in and out between punches so she takes much less damage, but if Kim can connect she has knockout power. Overall I do see this match going a full three rounds and having the judges decide this one.
Robbie Lawler vs Neil Magny
In the co-main event UFC legend Robbie Lawler steps back in the octagon to take on Neil Magny. Getting back into a cage to have punches thrown at your face is never easy, doing it at 38 years old after a long career makes it even harder as is the case with Lawler. Losing four of his last five Lawler will need to come out swinging and will most likely look to end this fight quickly. On the other side of the octagon is Neil Magny who is younger, quicker and longer. Magny has shown that he can get knocked out by heavy fists like the ones Lawler possesses, but he is also able to create enough space using his long reach to make sure that doesn’t happen. If this fight can go into the later rounds I like Magny’s odds of controlling the pace and making Lawler fight his style. If Robbie Lawler doesn’t put together an impressive performance this could be one of the final times you see him fighting, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic
Originally supposed to be a main card fight, a late change to the card shifted this fight up to the main event. Because of the short notice this fight will still be three rounds instead of the usual five rounds a regular main event usually goes. Both Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic are looking to become top contenders for the newly vacated light heavyweight title and a win here would do a lot to propel either of them toward that belt. Anthony Smith comes into this one with a 33-15 career record, suffering a pretty lopsided defeat to Glover Teixeira last time out. Even with his latest loss Smith still isn’t slowing down as he still has a strong stand up game but can also dominate on the ground by grappling his opponent to death.
Aleksandar Rakic has a lot less experience under his belt but he still has an impressive 12-2 career record. Rakic is known to come out hot and look for an early finish because as the match goes longer he tends to wear down which is great news if you are backing Anthony Smith. Even as a heavy favorite in this fight I don’t think Rakic matches up well with Smith. He won’t be able to finish Anthony Smith off quickly because he is known to have one of the toughest chins in the UFC and if Rakic tires out Smith will be able to dominate on the ground and either look for a submission or win the points. I really like Anthony Smith as an underdog in this fight and think he could be a big winner