Anthony Smith continues impressive light heavyweight run, submitting Volkan Oezdemir
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) October 28, 2018
Since moving up to the light heavyweight division, Anthony Smith has been on an absolute tear.
Three fights, three finishes over two former UFC light heavyweight champions and now a title challenger in Volkan Oezdemir.
First was Rashad Evans, who was folded from Smith’s crushing knee to the face. Next, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was slumped to the canvas following some brutal punches against the cage fence.
Tonight, Smith submitted Oezdemir following a patient gameplan at odds with his two previous quick stoppage wins.
Oezdemir is a fast starter, but has tired in the past as the fight wore on into its later rounds. Smith weathered the initial storm and was quite obvious in his intentions of waiting for the Swiss striker to tire.
Smith was correct in his approach as Oezdemir duly tired. After being roughed up the first two rounds, Smith dictated the third round action.
The fight wound up on the floor and Smith took his opponent’s back, before sliding his arm under the chin to take a rear-naked choke submission. Oezdemir initially defended well after biding his time, but Smith’s second attempt was too much, forcing the tap.
Smith now unexpectedly finds himself in a position which could set him up for a UFC light heavyweight title shot.
Michael Johnson bests Artem Lobov in unanimous decision win
Say what you want about Artem Lobov, but he’s tough as nails and is seldom in a boring fight. #UFCMoncton
— Fighters Only (@FightersOnly) October 28, 2018
Without wanting to plug our own tweets, the above applies. Say what you want about Artem Lobov, but there’s no doubting the Russia-born Irish fighter’s toughness and willing to engage in some wildly entertaining fights.
This was another one.
Michael Johnson was a late replacement for Lobov’s rival and original opponent Zubaira Tukhugov, whose future with the UFC is unclear following his involvement with the Conor McGregor – Khabib Nurmagomedov post-fight fracas at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.
Having taken the fight on two weeks’ notice, Johnson missed weight by a single pound so this contest was fought at a catchweight.
Exchanging punches and kicks with smiles on their faces, both Johnson and Lobov put on a show.
The fighters managed to get many of their strikes off, with Lobov more than holding his own against his toughest opponent yet, but Johnson’s reach and experience advantage seemed to be the difference between the two.
Johnson landed more strikes than opponent and duly took the unanimous decision victory following a fun three-round fight.
Following the fight, Johnson said: “Artem has never been finished so I had to think about that and pick my shots. It was an honor to fight him and I don’t think you can get a tougher guy in there.”
"Artem has never been finished so I had to think about that and pick my shots. It was an honor to fight him and I don’t think you can get a tougher guy in there." – @FollowTheMenace on his opponent Artem Lobov after his #UFCMoncton win. pic.twitter.com/JF15FGhzBL
— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 28, 2018
UFC Moncton: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Anthony Smith full results
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Smith defeats Volkan Oezdemir by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:26 of round three.
Catchweight: Michael Johnson defeats Artem Lobov by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Light Heavyweight: Misha Cirkunov defeats Patrick Cummins by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:40 of round one.
Bantamweight: Andre Soukhamthath defeats Jonathan Martinez by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Light Heavyweight: Gian Villante defeats Ed Herman by split decision after three rounds.
Welterweight: Court McGee defeats Alex Garcia by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Welterweight: Sean Strickland defeats Nordine Taleb by TKO (punches) at 3:10 of round two.
Lightweight: Nasrat Haqparast defeats Thibault Gouti by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Featherweight: Calvin Kattar defeats Chris Fishgold by TKO (punches) at 4:11 of round one.
Women’s Bantamweight: Talita Bernardo defeats Sarah Moras by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Lightweight: Don Madge defeats Te’Jovan Edwards by KO (head kick) at 0:14 of round two.
Heavyweight: Arjan Bhullar defeats Marcelo Golm by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Lightweight: Stevie Ray defeats Jessin Ayari by unanimous decision after three rounds.