UFC books Ion Cutelaba – Devin Clark

Ion Cutelaba

The UFC is finalizing a matchup in the light heavyweight division. MMA DNA was the first to report that the promotion is finalizing a matchup between Ion Cutelaba (15-6, 1 NC) and Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-5). The matchup will take place on May 1st.

Cutelaba has become quite the interesting fixture in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. Between his intense and entertaining pre-fight weigh-ins or his fighting style, there are a lot of people that like to tune in when Cutelaba is on the docket.

For the first time since 2019, Cutelaba will be fighting someone that’s not Magomed Ankalaev. Back in February of 2020, Cutelaba took on Ankalaev. After a brief exchange, it appeared that Cutelaba was hurt. Well, at least that’s what the referee believed.

The ref stepped in to stop the action and Cutelaba immediately went crazy. Ultimately, it appeared that Cutelaba was playing a bit of possum to draw Ankalaev into a brawl. However, it backfired when the referee stepped in.

The UFC did give Cutelaba a chance at redemption. At UFC 254, Cutelaba got a rematch with Ankalaev. However, this time Ankalaev left no doubts as he put Cutelaba out cold. Cutelaba will now try to get some redemption when he faces Devin Clark.

UFC’s Brown Bear looking to bounce back

Devin Clark just had the biggest opportunity of his career back in November. After Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID, Clark’s matchup with Anthony Smith was bumped to the main event in November.

Clark got a UFC main event slot opposite a former title challenger. Had Clark won that matchup, he could’ve been looking at a solid ranking and a top ten opponent next. However, Clark was submitted by Anthony Smith in the first round.

That loss snapped a two-fight win streak for The Brown Bear. Now, Clark will get a chance against a fighter with some solid name recognition and a fighter who used to be in the rankings. Whoever wins this matchup might be close to getting a UFC ranking by their name in May.

What’s next for Devin Clark after UFC Vegas 15?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Devin Clark (12-5) got the biggest opportunity of his career. After COVID scratched the original main event, he got the opportunity to headline a card against a former UFC title challenger in Anthony Smith.

Clark came into UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight winning streak. He was the first man to derail the hype train of Alonzo Menifield back in June, but this was going to be a big step up in competition for Brown Bear.

Clark has very good wrestling and many people thought he could give Anthony Smith problems. Smith had some issues in his last couple of fights giving up takedowns and Clark had a style that could give him problems.

As soon as the fight started, Clark showed that he was game. Immediately opening the UFC Vegas 15 headliner with a big right hand which he attempted to chain into a takedown. However, Lionheart Smith did a fantastic job of reversing the position to take Clark down.

I was impressed with how Clark was able to defend himself on the ground. Brown Bear didn’t panic and he looked to reverse. Eventually, he exploded to end up in top position. However, he got a little lazy with his hands and Anthony Smith locked him in a triangle choke.

After initially defending the choke, Clark was forced to tap. The UFC Vegas 15 loss snapped his winning streak and it didn’t last very long. A tough loss for the Jackson-Wink product.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

After the loss this past weekend, it’s back to the drawing board for Brown Bear. Clark did a few things really well in the fight, but a tactical error saw his first UFC main event end really quickly.

Fortunately, there’s no shame in losing to a top ten opponent who’s a former title challenger. It was a big step up in competition and maybe one that Clark wasn’t quite ready for. However, there are plenty of opponents in the UFC for him after this.

One matchup I like is a potential matchup with Ion Cutelaba (15-6, 1 NC). Cutelaba was ranked in the top 15 before he lost his second consecutive fight to Magomed Ankalaev back in October at UFC 254.

The Hulk would be a good next matchup for Clark. Both men are outside of the top 15 currently in the light heavyweight division. However, a win for either man would get them back on track to challenge someone in the UFC‘s top 15 at light heavyweight.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC Vegas 15?

Anthony Smith

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) took on Devin Clark (12-5) in the main event. Originally the two were supposed to be in the co-main, but the original main event was scrapped due to a positive COVID test. 

The two also agreed to change the fight from three rounds to five rounds. However, the UFC Vegas 15 main event would not require more than a couple of minutes of the first round.

Devin Clark came out fast and hit Smith with a right hand. After that, he tried to initiate the takedown and use his wrestling. However, Smith did a very good job of reversing the position and landing a takedown of his own.

Once on the ground, Smith tried to get the back of Clark. Clark did a good job of defending and actually reversed the position to get on top. However, once there, Smith was able to lock up a triangle choke off of his back.

Clark tried to fight it off, but Smith locked it in very tight forcing the tap. A massive win for Smith who had entered UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight losing streak. Both fights he looked completely checked out, but he looked fantastic on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

It really can’t be expressed how big UFC Vegas 15 was for Anthony Smith. Lionheart is a former title challenger, but a loss would have been devastating for his career. After his last loss, people were suggesting a potential move back to middleweight.

However, Smith looked better than ever locking up the quick win on Saturday. So what should the UFC do with Smith after his big win? Well there are a couple of options, but a fight I really like is Smith and Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker is coming off of a pretty impressive knockout victory over Ryan Spann back in September. He’s currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s light heavyweight rankings and could use a bump up in competition.

After defeating a non-ranked opponent, I think it would also be good for Smith to fight someone in the top ten in his next outing. Time will tell what the promotion does, but that would be my suggestion.

Anthony Smith makes quick work of Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 15

Anthony Smith

In the main event of tonight’s UFC Vegas 15 card, we had a light heavyweight contest that was originally scheduled to be the co-main event. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16) took on Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-4) in a five round light heavyweight showdown.

Just a couple of days ago, this fight was scheduled for three rounds as the co-main of UFC Vegas 15. However, Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID and the fight was bumped up. Both fighters also agreed to move it to a five round contest.

Anthony Smith was looking to bounce back after back-to-back losses in the UFC. Smith is a former title challenger, but he’s simply looked lost in about his last seven rounds of action. He was looking to right the ship against Clark.

Devin Clark was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career. Headlining his first show against a former title challenger was a big step up for Clark. Factoring in a two-fight winning streak, and you can see that Clark had a lot going for him.

UFC Vegas 15 Recap

Round 1

As the first round of the UFC Vegas 15 main event got underway, Clark immediately looked to close the distance. Clark landed a good clean right hand and forced the clinch. However, it was Anthony Smith who was able to get the upper hand and slam Clark to the ground.

Once the fight was on the ground, Smith was able to get the back of Clark. However, Clark was able to reverse the position to get top position. Clark started to look to pass the guard. However, Smith was really looking to stay active off his back.

Lionheart was able to lock up a triangle choke from the bottom. Clark fought hard to try to get out of the submission, but he was forced to tap. Huge bounce back win for Anthony Smith.

Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark by Submission (Triangle Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 15 Preview: Anthony Smith – Devin Clark

Anthony Smith

In the co-main event of tomorrow night’s UFC Vegas 15 card, we have a light heavyweight contest which features a former title challenger. Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16) will be taking on Devin “Brown Bear” Clark (12-4) in his 50th professional fight.

That number is truly astonishing considering the former UFC title challenger is only 32 years old. Nevertheless, Smith will be making the walk for the 50th time as he’s looking to bounce back after two consecutive losses in the octagon.

Clark on the other hand is looking to break into the UFC‘s top 15. The Jackson-Wink product has won back to back fights to push his overall record to 12-4. Clark has been tested in his UFC career against some of the best including Aleksandar Rakic and current champ, Jan Blachowicz.

Of course, Clark came up short in both of those fights. However, I’ve seen a lot of improvement in his last couple of outings. Sure, the competition level wasn’t extremely high, but he seems to be heading in the right direction.

Smith on the other hand is heading in the wrong direction. Two consecutive losses for Smith have had him contemplating his UFC career. Smith looked fantastic in the first couple of rounds against Glover Teixiera. However, since then, he’s been dominated in seven rounds since.

UFC Vegas 15 Preview

When thinking about the UFC Vegas 15 co-main event, this should be a win for Anthony Smith. However, the key word in that sentence is that it should be Anthony Smith. I really think Smith has a very solid overall game.

We’ve seen him look good on the feet and he’s shown off good submission skills in the UFC. However, he just looked completely out of it in his last fight against Aleksandar Rakic. Sure, he was hurt with leg kicks, but mentally he looked checked out.

Tomorrow night will all come down to which Anthony Smith we get. Devin Clark is going to push forward and try to take Smith down. We’ve seen Smith fold to the point where he accepts getting taken down then shows no urgency to get back up.

If that happens tomorrow night, we are going to see Clark pickup another decision win. However, if we see some urgency out of Smith, I think he can score enough points on the feet and win some scrambles to get the decision.

I think that this fight is going to go the distance. Again, UFC Vegas 15 will come down to which Anthony Smith we get. I think he’s going to show just enough urgency to squeak out an extremely narrow split decision, but I’m not confident in that pick.

Prediction: Anthony Smith by Split Decision