UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann betting odds, preview, and pick

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Danny Howard

September 9th, 2021

Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann face off in a light heavyweight eliminator for the main event of the Sept. 18 edition of UFC Fight Night. It’s a classic tale of a capable veteran against a solid prospect, and we have the betting odds and preview you need before they step into the octagon.

Smith is coming off a big upset win

Smith showed no fear against the favored Jimmy Crute last April, ultimately stopping Crute with a leg kick. He’s going from one big puncher to the next in Spann.

All but two of Smith’s wins have come by some form of stoppage, and he’s incredibly proactive when he gets his opponents to the ground. When needed, Smith can also hold his own in the stand up, and goes at it with everything he’s got.

Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann tale of the tape

Anthony Smithvs.Ryan Spann
Last 5 Fights
Solid finisher
Key Intangibles
Striking power

Spann will try to test Smith’s chin

With a phenomenal 81.5” reach and considerable striking power, Spann can fire big shots from a distance. Spann blasted out Misha Cirkunov in one round last March, needing only 71 seconds to take care of business.

If Spann can stay off the ground, his striking will be hard for Smith to avoid for five rounds. Smith absorbs a heavy 4.36 strikes per minute, so Spann will make it a point to break Smith down with his reach.

Smith will down Spann and score a submission win

In theory, Spann has everything he needs to win this fight, but in reality he's missing something. He was absolutely outclassed by Johnny Walker just two fights ago, and while he got rid of Cirkunov in a hurry, Smith is an established contender who won’t go down easy.

Having those kinds of inconsistencies against a savvy veteran who often wins by capitalizing on any openings he sees is not a good sign. Smith is willing to take a few shots if it means he can get in better position for a takedown or counter shot.

The extra rounds favor the veteran, who will play it cool and map out his approach. Once Smith gets Spann’s timing down, he’ll shoot his way in and take Spann down, and he won’t let him up. Expect Smith to take his licks early before submitting Spann around the third round.

UFC Fight Night pick: Smith