Devonte Smith didn’t have to wait long to find a new opponent for his long-awaited return to the octagon.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Smith will now meet Justin Jaynes at UFC Vegas 18 this Saturday at the APEX. Jaynes first announced his short-notice booking Monday on Instagram.
Jaynes is replacing Alex da Silva who was forced to withdraw from the lightweight matchup due to a knee injury.
Smith will look to get back on track in his first fight since his UFC 241 knockout loss to then promotional newcomer Khama Worthy in August 2019. “King Kage” has been recovering from an achilles injury that required surgery and a long rehabilitation.
After making a huge splash in his short-notice octagon debut—knocking out Frank Camacho in just 41 seconds in June—Jaynes will look to snap a two-fight losing streak. “Guitar Hero” was submitted by Gavin Tucker in August, and was put away with a brutal knee to the body by Gabriel Benitez in December at UFC Vegas 16.