Veteran Anthony Smith faces Ryan Spann in the UFC Fight Night Light Heavyweight Main Event this Saturday from UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Smith (35-16) has won two bouts in a row and is coming off a first-round TKO victory over prospect Jimmy Crute. The Nebraska native lost to then-champion Jon Jones in a title fight at UFC 235 in March 2019. Smith, 33, has been solid since moving up to light heavyweight in 2018, going 6-3 and wins over former champion Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua, as well as former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Spann (19-6) is looking for his first major win against one of the top light heavyweights. The Texas resident is coming off a first round TKO victory over Misha Cirkunov in March. Spann, 30, has won nine of his last 10 fights and is a former LFA light heavyweight champion.
In the co-feature event, Devin Clark and Ion Cutelaba find themselves in a battle of light heavyweights trying to gain traction.
Clark (12-5) had a two-fight winning streak stopped by Smith last November. Cutelaba (15-6-1, 1 NC) was once considered a top prospect, but has only one win in his last five fights.
Follow here for each result, or watch each fight on ESPN +.
Fight in progress – Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley (12-4, 2-2 UFC) vs. Antonio Arroyo (9-4, 0-2 UFC)
Light Heavyweight: Tafon Nchukwi (6-1, 2-1 UFC) defeats Mike Rodríguez (11-7 1 NC, 2-5 1 NC UFC) by unanimous decision
Women’s Bantamweight: Raquel Pennington (12-9, 9-6 UFC) defeats Pannie Kianzad (16-6, 4-3 UFC) by unanimous decision
Colorado Springs’ Pennington stopped Kianzad’s title aspirations in a three-round decision victory.
By Saturday, Kianzad (15-6), who fights from Denmark, had won four fights in a row, but consistently found himself a step behind in this one. Pennington displayed a more diverse game than Kianzad overall, and matched the former featherweight’s physical style. All three judges scored the bantamweight fight for Pennington, 29-28.
A former title challenger, Pennington (12-8) traded strikes with Kianzad in the Thai clinch for much of the first round. He continued to match Kianzad’s production in the clinch in the second and third rounds, but mixed up other aspects of his game as well. She used an effective clinch in the second round and good boxing in the third.
If Kianzad had won, she would have been at the top of the starting scene, as defending champion Amanda Nunes is always in need of new opponents. Instead, Pennington gets a big win and moves to 3-1 in his last four bouts.
Lightweight: Rong Zhu (18-4, 1-1 UFC) defeats Brandon Jenkins (15-7, 0-1 UFC) by third-round TKO
Zhu earns his first UFC victory with the twelfth KO / TKO of his career, beating Jenkins for the better part of three rounds before coming to a stoppage at 4:35 of the final session.
Men’s Bantamweight: Montel Jackson (11-2, 5-2 UFC) defeats JP Buys (9-4, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous decision
After briefly endangering himself on the mat, Jackson took control and hurt Bays multiple times en route to his second straight win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Jackson, a huge betting favorite (-650), had four knockdowns, the most in a UFC men’s bantamweight fight and tied (with six others) for third place for the most in any UFC fight. It was only the eighth time in UFC history that a fighter in any weight class has had four or more knockdowns in a fight.
Women’s Flyweight: Erin Blanchfield (7-1, 1-0 UFC) defeats Sarah Alpar (9-6, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous decision
Blanchfield made an impressive UFC debut, winning his fourth fight in a row with a dominant decision victory (30-25, 30-25, 30-26).
Blanchfield, the -380 betting favorite, controlled the action from start to finish, putting Alpar’s toughness to the test all the way. According to UFC Stats, he outscored Alpar 120-41 in significant punches, held a plus-20 or more advantage in all three rounds, went three-three in takedowns (while Alpar had none), and had a 9:43 off control time.
Welterweight: Carlston Harris (18-4, 3-0 UFC) defeats Impa Kasanganay (9-3, 2-3 UFC) by first-round TKO
Harris wins as a +100 underdog by attacking Kasanganay and getting the TKO after 2:38 in the fight.
He has a five-fight winning streak, all coming via stoppage (three KO / TKO, two submissions).
Men’s Bantamweight: Gustavo López (12-6-1, 1-2-1 UFC) and Heili Alateng (14-8-2, 2-1-1 UFC) fought in a draw
López and Alatengheili had the fourth draw in the UFC in 2021. It is the second draw of Alatengheili’s career and the first for López.
Alatengheili had a point deducted in the third round for grabbing the cage.
Women’s Flyweight: Hannah Goldy (6-2, 1-2 UFC) defeats Emily Whitmire (4-5, 2-4 UFC) by submission in the first round
Goldy opened the show by getting the tapout through armbar at 4:17 of the opening round for his first UFC win and first career submission win. Charges as a helplessness of +105.
It is Whitmire’s third straight loss in the UFC. All five of his career losses are by submission. His four UFC submission losses tie for the most in the promotion since he debuted in 2017.
Light heavyweight: Anthony Smith (35-16, 10-6 UFC) vs. Ryan Spann (19-6, 5-1 UFC)
Light heavyweight: Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1 1 NC, 4-5-1 UFC) vs. Devin Clark (12-5, 6-5 UFC)
Female flyweight: Ariane Lipski (13-7, 2-4 UFC) vs. Mandy Bohm (7-0, 0-0 UFC)
Light weight: Arman Tsarukyan (16-2, 3-1 UFC) vs. Christos Giagos (19-8, 5-4 UFC)
Male bantamweight: Nate Maness (13-1, 2-0 UFC) vs. Tony Gravely (21-6, 2-1 UFC)