UFC 303 Preview and Prediction: Anthony Smith – Roman Dolidze

Anthony Smith

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 303, we are going to see a light heavyweight matchup that’s gone through a ton of changes. Former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (37-19) will be taking on the tenth ranked middleweight in Roman Dolidze (12-3).

As mentioned, this spot on the card has gone through a ton of changes. Originally, Jamahal Hill was supposed to face Khalil Rountree. Then, Carlos Ulberg replaced Khalil Rountree. A knee injury forced Jamahal Hill out which is how Anthony Smith ended up on the card. Following that, Ulberg pulled out of the fight leading the UFC to the tenth ranked middleweight Roman Dolidze.

Dolidze is fighting up in weight but that shouldn’t be an issue for him. He’s looking to snap a recent losing streak that has really halted his momentum at 185 pounds. The last time we saw him was in February when he lost a lopsided main event against Nassourdine Imavov.

Anthony Smith just fought at UFC 301 last month in Brazil. He was coming off a tough knockout loss to Khalil Rountree and was taking on an undefeated contender, Vitor Petrino. Smith battered Petrino with leg kicks early on and then submitted him with a guillotine two minutes into the fight. Smith is now 2-1 in his last three fights.

UFC 303 Prediction

This is a fascinating matchup and it’s honestly very hard to read. If I was betting on this card, I wouldn’t touch this fight. Dolidze is nearly a 2:1 favorite which shocks me. Dolidze does have a lot of power in his hands and we know he has world-class grappling. That said, he’s fighting up on short-notice.

Anthony Smith is just one of those guys who is always going to be solid. He’s not elite anywhere but he’s good wherever the fight goes. He has good submissions, good kicks, and he manages distance very well. I could see him doing a lot of damage with his kicks in this fight.

I honestly think whoever has the best gas tank is going to win this fight. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dolidze have some wrestling success in the first two rounds and I also could see Smith winning the striking exchanges leaning on his kicks. However, the winner of this matchup at UFC 303 will be whoever is fresher in the third round.

I’m actually going to lean Dolidze here. He’s always in good shape and this is going to be a much easier weight cut from him. We’ve seen Smith tire in the third round before and I could see Dolidze getting a takedown in the third and riding this one out to get a decision.

Prediction: Roman Dolidze by Decision

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