UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic – Staff Predictions

Anthony Smith (left) and Alexander Rakic (right) square off ahead of their fight. Credit: UFC, Twitter.

On Saturday, light heavyweight contenders Anthony Smith (33-15) and Alexander Rakic (12-2) compete in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic in the days following former champion Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) relinquishing of the title and a subsequent announcement pitting Dominick Reyes (12-1) and Jan Blachowicz (26-8) against one another for the vacant belt.

In the event’s co-main event, former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (28-14) looks to return to the win column against a surging Neil Magny (23-7).

The full card, and the MMA-Prospects’ team’s predictions, are available below:

  • Anthony Smith (33-15) vs. Alexander Rakic (12-2) – light heavyweight main event
  • Robbie Lawler (28-14) vs. Neil Magny (23-7) – welterweight co-main event
  • Ji Yeon Kim (9-2-2) vs. Alexa Grasso (11-3) – flyweight bout
  • Ricardo Lamas (19-8) vs. Bill Algeo (13-4) – featherweight bout
  • Magomed Ankalaev (13-1) vs. Ion Cutelaba (15-5) II – light heavyweight bout

Joe McDonagh (2020 Record: 3-1)

Alexander Rakic, Robbie Lawler, Ji Yeon Kim, Ricardo Lamas, Ion Cutelaba

“Most confident: Lawler,” wrote McDonagh. “A year off, coming off of multiple losses facing the lowest-ranked opponent he has fought in years (although Magny is legit as hell). Maybe part of this is also me just refusing to believe Lawler is done.”

Zain Bando (2020 Record: 3-1)

Anthony Smith, Robbie Lawler, Ji Yeon Kim, Ricardo Lamas, Ion Cutelaba

“Most confident: Lamas! Bill Algeo’s UFC debut is a long time coming, and I think if Lamas can avoid a barrage early and use his wrestling, he’ll earn a decision,” wrote Bando.

Tom Albano (2020 Record: Debut)

Anthony Smith, Neil Magny, Alexa Grasso, Ricardo Lamas, Magomed Ankalaev

“Most confident: Ankalaev. I feel his striking is somewhat better than Cutelaba’s, and Cutelaba will need to get the job done early, as there have been questions about his gas tank,” wrote Albano, “and if Ankalaev gets off to the start like he did in the controversial first fight, that’s trouble for Cutelaba.”

Vince Rodemer (2020 Record: Debut)

Anthony Smith, Neil Magny, Alexa Grasso, Ricardo Lamas, Magomed Ankalaev

“I’m most confident in Grasso,” wrote Rodemer. “Other than her go-go gadget (72″) arms, I don’t think Kim brings much to the table. I expect Grasso to use her toughness to get in the pocket and box her up for three rounds.”

Joseph Shaw (2020 Record: 2-2)

Alexander Rakic, Neil Magny, Alexa Grasso, Ricardo Lamas, Magomed Ankalaev

“Most confident: Rakic,” wrote Shaw. “I feel like he’s extremely talented; arguably should have gotten the nod over Volkan [Oezdemir]. I feel like he’s got huge potential. Also, I don’t like the way Smith lost just a couple of months ago – I just feel like Smith is past his prime and has taken a lot of punishment, especially against Glover [Teixeira].”

Ryan Fortune (2020 Record: 2-2)

Alexander Rakic, Neil Magny, Alexa Grasso, Ricardo Lamas, Magomed Ankalaev

“Most Confident: Ricardo Lamas. While Lamas has lost to unranked prospects on short notice before (Josh Emmett), Algeo isn’t as big of a puncher compared to Emmett and Lamas has never been submitted,” wrote Fortune. “I think Lamas will display a complete performance to get back in the win column.”

Shawn Bitter (2020 Record: 2-2)

Alexander Rakic, Robbie Lawler, Alexa Grasso, Ricardo Lamas, Magomed Ankalaev

“Most Confident: Ricardo Lamas. Though I do believe Lamas is past his prime, he’s still a top guy in his own right. Making your debut against Lamas may be a step up too soon. Lamas is a guy who will make Algeo pay for keeping his hands low, and I think can possibly get a late stoppage,” wrote Bitter.