Anthony Smith will be aiming to position himself for another shot at the UFC light heavyweight title when he takes on Ryan Spann on Saturday in the main event at UFC Fight Night as a -170 favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Smith is coming off back-to-back opening-round finishes that have vaulted him to No. 6 on the UFC light heavyweight rankings going into Saturday night's bout at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The 33-year-old American made his first career bid for the UFC light heavyweight crown at UFC 235. Smith dropped a five-round unanimous decision to Jon Jones, who earned the win despite suffering a two-point penalty for delivering an illegal knee. That marked the start of a run of three losses in four outings for Smith, including defeats at the hands of Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.
However, Smith has rediscovered his finishing form in his past two outings. After tallying a first-round submission victory over Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 15 that also earned him a fifth career Performance of the Night bonus, Smith followed up with a first-round TKO victory over Jimmy Crute at UFC 261. Overall, Smith has now finished opponents in each of his past nine wins, and has seen 32 of his 35 career victories come inside the distance.
Spann returns to action for the second time this year set as a +140 underdog at online betting sites. Spann needed just 71 seconds to end Misha Cirkunov's night with a TKO by punches in their clash at UFC Vegas in mid-March. With that victory, Spann has now earned the win in nine of his past 10 contests, and sports a 5-1 record since joining the UFC three years ago.
Overall, Spann has recorded 14 of his 19 career pro victories with first-round finishes, and has submitted opponents on 11 occasions. However, three of his six career losses have also come inside five minutes, including his KO defeat at the hands of Johnny Walker almost exactly a year ago at UFC Vegas 11.
Elsewhere on the UFC Fight Night odds for Saturday, light heavyweights will also be in the spotlight in the co-main event as Ion Cutelaba battles Devin Clark as a -155 favourite. Cutelaba has tallied just one win in five outings, capped by a draw with Dustin Jacoby at UFC Vegas 25. Clark saw a two-fight win streak snapped by a first-round submission loss to Smith at UFC Vegas 15.
Earlier in the night, Ariane Lipski sits as narrow -120 chalk in her clash with fellow women's flyweight Mandy Bohm, while lightweight Arman Tsarukyan faces Christos Giagos as a massive -900 favourite.