No. 6 light heavyweight Anthony Smith (33-16, 18 KOs, 12 SUBs) will meet Devin "Brown Bear" Clark (12-4, 3 KOs, 1 SUB) at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on ESPN starting 10pm ET. In the headliner, heavyweight title contender Curtis Blaydes (14-2, 10 KOs) squares off against knockout artist Derrick Lewis (24-7, 19 KOs) in a pivotal divisional scrap. Now let’s take a look at the light heavyweight matchup between Smith and Clark and break down your best UFC online betting options.
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Anthony Smith (33-16, 18 KOs, 12 SUBs)
The past few years have not been good to Lionheart. After a losing effort in a title fight against Jon Jones (where he actually showed a lot of heart getting to decision), Smith has gone just 1-2 and dropped out of the elite tier. All those fights were ugly, as he only beat Gustafsson with a flash submission in a fight he was clearly losing. Following that, he was absolutely demolished for five rounds by Glover Teixeira in a fight that was tough for even hardened MMA viewers to watch. Most recently, he was soundly beaten by Aleksandar Rakic in a scrap where he never actually put together any sort of effective offense.
You hate to see it, but there is a growing contingent of folks who believe that Smith probably never deserved a title shot in the first place. Beating the hollowed out husks of Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua didn’t mean much when he did it. Scoring a sub over Volkan hasn’t aged very well. That’s not to say he isn’t dangerous - as the win over Gustafsson proved. Smith is a big dude with dynamic Muay Thai, and he’s especially good at snatching submissions out of nowhere. 30 finishes in 33 career victories is nothing to sniff at.
He has to be careful here. Smith is fighting an unranked guy, and a loss could knock him out of the rankings entirely. On paper, this is a get-right scrap against a solid fighter.
Devin "Brown Bear" Clark (12-4, 3 KOs, 1 SUB)
In 10 UFC fights, Clark has managed a 6-4 record. Basically, he’s been good enough to stick around. After losing his UFC debut to Alex Nicholson, The Brown Bear beat two-nobodies to earn a 2017 matchup against a previously unknown Jan Blachowicz - who submitted him in 2 rounds. A bounce back win over Mike Rodriguez led to a matchup against a top prospect in Aleksandar Rakic, who knocked out Clark in the first round. The 32-year old has two straight wins, with decisions over Dequan Townsend and most recently Alonzo Menifield. Smith would easily be the highest profile win of his career - and his ticket to entering the top 15 for the first time.
Clark is a solid fighter without much flash. He’s a strong dude with some wrestling chops, which he uses to grind until he sees an opportunity to hunt for a finish. Unfortunately, his killer instinct leaves a lot to be desired, as he’s punched himself out a few times and been finished for his lack of awareness.
Significant Striking Stats
Strikes landed per minute: Smith 2.97 / Clark 3.40
Striking accuracy: Smith 46% / Clark 57%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Smith 4.43 / Clark 2.47
Striking defense: Smith 42% / Clark 48%
Takedowns per 15 minutes: Smith 0.41 / Clark 2.76
Takedown accuracy: Smith 25% / Clark 36%
Takedown defense: Smith 51% / Clark 83%
Submissions per 15 minutes: Smith 0.7 / Clark 0.1
We’re in the camp that believes that Smith was probably a little overrated to begin with, and now he’s in a downward spiral. While Lionheart is the more creative striker, the problem here is that he doesn’t have the takedown defense to stop Clark’s wrestling for three rounds. There’s always the chance that Clark slips up and gets tapped, but more likely The Brown Bear ends up banking enough control time to take the win.
UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis Card & Odds
Heavyweight - Derrick Lewis +303 vs. Curtis Blaydes -390
Light Heavyweight - Devin Clark +113 vs. Anthony Smith -137
Welterweight - Takashi Sato +130 vs. Miguel Baeza -157
Bantamweight - Luke Sanders -137 vs. Nate Maness +113
Featherweight - Jonathan Pearce +243 vs. Kai Kamaka -303
Women’s Bantamweight - Ashlee Evans-Smith -127 vs. Norma Dumont +103
Bantamweight - Anderson dos Santos +134 vs. Martin Day -162
Heavyweight - Parker Porter +177 vs. Josh Parisian -215
Women’s Flyweight - Rachael Ostovich +114 vs. Gina Mazany -138
Flyweight - Malcolm Gordon +260 vs. Su Mudaerji -327
Featherweight - Bill Algeo +143 vs. Spike Carlyle -171
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