Ankalaev is one of the most-hyped light heavyweights to come along in some time. The Dagestani fighter has as spectacular 17-1 professional record, with his lone defeat coming by a literal last-second Hail Mary submission by Paul Craig back in 2018 in Ankalaev’s UFC debut. Since then, Ankalaev has been perfect, rattling off eight wins in a row, and now the No. 7 ranked light heavyweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings stands on the precipice of a title shot with a win tonight.
While Ankalaev is attempting to earn a crack at the title, Smith also hopes to set himself up for another title shot. “Lionheart” has been a going concern at 205 pounds since moving up from middleweight in 2018, even challenging for the belt against Jon Jones at UFC 235. Now riding a three-fight win streak, all by first-round finish, Smith hopes to punch his ticket to another championship bid with a win tonight.
Check out the UFC 277 live blog below.