Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 37, we will see a showdown in the light heavyweight division. Former title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16) is back as he’s taking on rising contender Ryan Spann (19-6).
Smith will be looking for his third straight UFC victory tomorrow night. It’s been a rollercoaster few years for Lionheart in the UFC. Back in June of 2018, Smith started a streak where he won three fights in a row.
That winning streak got him a fight with Jon Jones for the UFC title. He ultimately lost that fight, but bounced back big time with a win over Alexander Gustafsson. However, after that fight, he lost two in a row. That last lost coming against Aleksandar Rakic in a fight where he was completely dominated.
After that loss, Smith’s back was against the wall and he’s won two straight to get back on track. The last time we saw him was at UFC 261 when he stopped Jimmy Crute with a powerful leg kick.
Ryan Spann earned himself a UFC contract on The Contender Series and since then, he’s been sensational. Overall with the promotion, he’s 5-1 with the lone loss coming to Johnny Walker. If Spann can pickup the win tomorrow night, he will have shown everyone that he’s ready for the best in the division.
UFC Vegas 37 Prediction
There are going to be several key factors in this UFC main event. One of the key factors I’m going to be paying attention to is cardio. We’ve seen Ryan Spann have cardio issues in the past which could really hurt him.
This is a five-round fight and if Spann hasn’t drastically improved his cardio, he could be in trouble. While Spann has good power, I think he’s going to focus on trying to get this fight to the ground.
I do believe that he will be able to land some takedowns. That said, I don’t think he’s going to be able to finish Smith there. Lionheart is crafty and I expect him to get back to his feet in the middle rounds and control the stand up.
Ultimately, I’m banking on the lack of cardio in Spann for my UFC Vegas 37 prediction. I think by the later rounds, Smith is going to completely take over and I think we are going to see a late submission from Lionheart.
Prediction: Anthony “Lionheart” Smith by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 5