After his big win at UFC 301, what’s next for Anthony Smith?

MMA: UFC 301 - Smith vs Petrino
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 301, we saw a light heavyweight matchup with a lot of implications in the rankings. Vitor Petrino (11-1) entered the octagon unbeaten and he was looking to use Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (38-19) as a stepping stone.

All week long, Anthony Smith made it clear that he believed he would win this fight. After studying Petrino on tape, he just didn’t see the hype of the unbeaten fighter. In my preview, I mentioned that I agreed with Smith that Lionheart was the much better mixed martial artist all around.

However, there was a lot of questions around Anthony Smith and what he had left in the tank after his last few fights. When the fight started, Smith went to work with leg kicks and jabs. Petrino never really got going with anything significant and you could tell that Smith’s first few kicks were doing damage.

Then, Petrino shot for a sloppy takedown and gave his neck to Smith. Smith immediately locked in a guillotine choke and Petrino tapped quickly giving Smith the huge win at UFC 301.

What’s next after UFC 301?

This was a huge win for Anthony Smith and once again, he got his hand raised in a y’all must’ve forgot fashion. Smith entered the octagon 1-3 in his last four fights. The last time Smith entered the octagon after going through a 1-3 stretch he won three straight all by first round stoppage.

He’s starting on that path again with this win at UFC 301. With the win, Smith didn’t move in the rankings since Petrino wasn’t ranked. With that, what should be next for the former title challenger? Well, the UFC is returning to Louisville next month and I have my eyes on Dominick Reyes – Dustin Jacoby.

The winner of that fight makes a lot of sense for a late summer / early fall showdown with Lionheart.

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