UFC 303 Recap: Roman Dolidze wins a decision over Anthony Smith

MMA: UFC Fight Night - Orlando - Hermansson vs Dolidze

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) took 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 was climbing up the middleweight rankings, but entered tonight having lost two fights in a row. He desperately needed a win to get back on track. Meanwhile, Anthony Smith was coming off an impressive win over Vitor Petrino. He was hoping to insert himself into the light heavyweight title picture with a win.

UFC 303 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 303 light heavyweight matchup starts with a touch of the gloves. Dolidze starts the striking with two straight kicks. Another kick but this one is checked by Lionheart. Smith holding the center right now pawing his jab. Another nice kick lands for Dolidze. Leg kick from Dolidze and a counter right lands for Smith. Big calf kick lands with a thud for Dolidze.

Now a right hand from Dolidze as Smith appears to be having a little trouble early on. Another leg kick from Dolidze and a right hand. Smith throws a calf kick of his own. Right hand lands nicely for Lionheart. Smith eats another brutal kick from Dolidze before throwing a calf kick of his own.

These two are just trading leg kicks now. Smith is the one moving forward right now and now he lands two leg kicks. Jab from Smith and a leg kick from Dolidze. Big overhand right just misses from Dolidze and he eats a 1-2 from Smith.

Again, they both trade leg kicks. Dolidze is just picking Smith’s lead leg apart here. Smith pushes forward with a huge right that misses. Dolidze with a nice combination in tight. Another leg kick from Dolidze. Smith upping the pressure and the round ends. 1-0 Dolidze at UFC 303.

Round 2

Dolidze opens the second round with two straight leg kicks. A third and now a fourth. Smith throws and then eats a counter from Dolidze. Smith just appears to be having some trouble letting it go tonight. Calf kick from Smith and he just evades a right from Dolidze. They trade shots and then there’s a wild exchange.

Appears that Smith tripped but Dolidze thinks he’s hurt. Dolidze is all over him throwing massive shots and Smith is surviving here. Three minutes left in the round and now Dolidze gets the back of Lionheart. Smith really needs to get going here but Dolidze is just holding this position halfway through the round.

Smith starts trying to get up and Dolidze starts teeing off. Not a good spot here for Anthony Smith. Knee to the body lands for Dolidze and Smith folds back down to the canvas. Dolidze holding the back here and Smith isn’t doing anything at all here. Another knee to the body from Dolidze and now one to the thigh. A scramble and they’re back to the feet with Dolidze landing a nice left. The round ends and it’s 2-0 Dolidze at UFC 303.

Round 3

Entering the final round and Smith has to get a finish here. Dolidze starts things with a shocking leg kick but Smith answers right back. Jab from Dolidze and now a nice body kick. Smith tries pushing forward but misses badly. Combination from Roman Dolidze who appears to be running away with this one.

Leg kick from Dolidze and now a jab. Smith is trying to move forward but there’s just nothing there right now. Lionheart is looking gassed and Dolidze lands a kick. Smith does land a right there and Dolidze circles out. Halfway through the round and Smith needs a miracle here.

He lands a right but eats a stiff left from Dolidze. Smith throws a combination but there’s not much on it. Right hand from Smith and then he lands again. Leg kick from Smith who is definitely trying. Short left hook lands from Smith and now a right. Jab from Smith lands. Lunging left hook from Smith and now a right.

Calf kick from Dolidze and he circles away. Jab from Smith lands and he’s back on the pressure. Spinning back kick lands for Dolidze and the fight ends. I have it 29-28 for Roman Dolidze at UFC 303.

Roman Dolidze def. Anthony Smith by (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Mentioned in this article:

More about: