Anthony Smith survived the early pressure from Volkan Oezdemir to pick up a third round submission victory against ‘No Time’ and prove his worth as a title contender at 205-pounds with a big win in the UFC Moncton main event.
What was the high point of the fight?
In the opening exchange, Smith shot for double leg takedown but Oezdemir did a job of defending and reversing ‘Lionheart’ against the cage. The Swissman was aggressive early throwing big combos whilst Smith was against fence, and landing some hard outside leg kicks.
Oezdemir racked up some good control time on the ground in the second, with Smith lacking urgency to get back to his feet. The two started to exchange heavy leather on the feet in the third, and when the fight went to the mat yet again, Smith eventually took Oezdemir’s back locking in a rear-naked choke that forced a tap from ‘No Time.’
Where do these two go from here?
It’s a disappointing return to the octagon for Oezdemir, who hadn’t fought since January before this fight against Smith. This is the his second loss on the bounce now, so a fight against either the rising contender Dominick Reyes or Jan Blachowicz are matchups that both make sense for Oezdemir.
Now on a three-fight winning streak at light heavyweight, Smith has certainly proved he is a worthy title contender in the 205-pound division. ‘Lionheart’ was clearly in pain after the fight, something he attributed to the leg kicks of Oezdemir. With Daniel Cormier’s future also being unclear at light heavyweight, Smith deserves a fight against either the winner or loser of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson in December.
Watch it now, later or never?
Watch it now to watch Smith’s submission victory over Oezdemir.