After a night of disappointing fights, the main event of UFC Hamburg was one of the few that lived up to the bill, as Anthony Smith knocked out Mauricio Rua in under 90 seconds, in a fight that Smith took on short notice.
What was the high point of the fight?
The two men both came out with an aggressive pace early, with Smith using lots of feints, pumping out a lot of jabs and left hooks. A big overhand right from Rua just missed the chin of Smith, and then the onslaught began by “Lionheart.”
A front kick from Smith wobbled Shogun, then as the Brazilian began to push forward again, Smith clipped him with a right hand that sent him on the retreat. What came next was a barrage of strikes from Smith, finishing with a one-two combination that sent Rua crashing to the canvas.
Where do these two go from here?
Prior to the fight, Shogun was on his best winning streak for over ten years, but this loss to Smith is now a major setback for the 36-year-old. Talks of a potential title fight against current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier almost seem laughable now, and it’s hard to see who’s next in line for Shogun.
Smith took no time after the fight in calling out Alexander Gustafsson for a fight at UFC 227 on August 4th. However, MMAjunkie’s John Morgan has since reported the Swede is injured and off the card. Given that, a fight against Jimi Manuwa, who was cageside to watch Smith’s knockout of Shogun, is a good fight to make next.
Watch it now, later or never?
Watch it now to witness the barrage of strikes from Smith that led to the finish.