UFC Fight Night Report: Anthony Smith submits Devin Clark in the first round
By: Eric Marcotte
On Saturday night the UFC held a Fight Night event at the UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. This particular card was hit hard by COVID-19, as the main event was cancelled on Friday morning, after Curtis Blaydes tested positive for the disease (he was scheduled to face Derrick Lewis). A bout between Renato Moicano and Rafael Fiziev was also removed from this card after Moicano tested positive for the coronavirus. Thus, a light heavyweight fight between Anthony Smith and Devin Clark was moved into the main event slot, and both fighters agreed to a full five round fight, as opposed to the originally scheduled three round bout that they trained for. Coming into this bout, Smith was the ranked fighter, but had lost his last two fights in dominant fashion. He looked to defend his spot in the rankings by defeating Clark, who had won his last two fights.
The commentary team for the card consisted of Brendan Fitzgerald and Paul Felder. Performance bonuses were awarded to Anthony Smith, Miguel Baeza, Sumudaerji, and Nate Maness.
*Nathan Maness def. Luke Saunders by rear naked choke at 2:29 of Round 2
*Sumudaerji def. Malcolm Gordon by TKO at 0:44 of Round 1
*Gina Mazany def. Rachel Ostovich by TKO at 4:10 of Round 3
*Anderson Dos Santos def. Martin Day by guillotine at 4:35 of Round 1
*Jonathan Pearce def. Kai Kamaka by TKO at 4:28 of Round 2
*Norma Dumont def. Ashlee Evans-Smith by unanimous decision (30-26 all)
*Bill Algeo def. Spike Carlyle by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Parker Porter def. Josh Parisian by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
*Miguel Baeza def. Takashi Sato by arm triangle at 4:28 of Round 2
*Anthony Smith def. Devin Clark by triangle choke at 2:34 of Round 1
LUKE SANDERS (13-3, 140) VS NATHAN MANESS (12-1, 139.5) – CATCHWEIGHT
Maness caught Sanders with a counter right hand early in the first, and landed a quick combination when they met in the pocket. Sanders closed the distance with some big swings, but Maness was doing a good job of not getting himself stuck against the fence. Saunders connected with some strong leg kicks. Maness landed another left hook in the pocket, and Saunders responded with a big left hand of his own. Maness took Saunders down at one point and had his back for a few seconds, but Saunders shook him off. Near the end of the round, Saunders started teeing off on him with hooks against the cage, and he cemented the round in his favour.
They traded wildly to begin the second round, and Maness got the better of the exchanged when one of his blows caused Sanders to stumble. Saunders recovered though, and wasted no time in returning to the wild exchanges. Saunders was walking Maness down, and repeatedly hurting him with his barrage of hooks. That being said, Maness was landing some strong shots of his own in response, and eventually Maness caught Saunders with a straight right hand that knocked him down. As Saunders returned to his feet, Maness tripped him to the ground, took his back, and forced him to submit with a rear naked choke.
WINNER: Nathan Maness by rear naked choke at 2:29 of Round 2
Saunders was heavy with his pressure, and while this strategy led to successes throughout the fight, it also led to him getting dropped in one of those exchanges. Maness was taking a lot of shots, but he remained composed, and he ultimately picked up a big finish against a fighter who beat a former world champion in his last fight. Maness is now 2-0 in the UFC.
SUMUDAERJI (12-4, 126) VS MALCOLM GORDON (12-4, 126) – FLYWEIGHT
Gordon was trying to close the distance early, but Sumudaerji cracked him with a left hand that hurt him, and he just kept throwing it, and eventually Gordon crumpled down to the floor.
WINNER: Sumudaerji by TKO at 0:44 of Round 1
This was not a long fight, but Sumudaerji’s power was apparent every time he landed. I thought he looked great in his last fight (at bantamweight), but I think this move to flyweight will work out well for him. He has real power in his hands, and sharp striking. Sumudaerji is now 2-1 in the UFC, and he asked for a top ten opponent in his next fight.
GINA MAZANY (6-4, 125.5) VS RACHAEL OSTOVICH (4-5, 125.5) – FLYWEIGHT
Mazany opened up with a pair of left hands, and Ostovich responded with a kick to the body. They exchanged in the pocket, and Mazany proceeded to take Ostovich down near the cage. She quickly took her back, but Ostovich worked her way back to her feet. Ostovich landed another body kick, as Mazany continued to throw that straight left hand. Once again, after a brief exchange in the pocket, Mazany shot for a takedown. This time, Ostovich defended the attempt, and they traded on the feet for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Mazany.
Mazany wasted no time in bringing Ostovich back to the ground to begin the second round. She transitioned to side control, and proceeded to go for a north south choke. Ostovich somehow managed to flip herself over Mazany, and she briefly took her back before they returned to the feet. The flexibility required to do what Ostovich did here was crazy. Mazany took Ostovich back down, and she landed some decent ground and pound strikes from the back of Ostovich. They traded on the feet to end the round. 20-18 Mazany.
Ostovich defended Mazany’s first takedown attempt of the round, but ate some hard-left hands in the process. Half way through the round, Mazany succeeded on a double leg attempt, and she began to throw down strong ground and pound near the cage. She was close to finishing the fight at one point, but Ostovich worked her way back her feet. A kick to the body hurt Ostovich, and Mazany swarmed her with shots. Another body kick sent Ostovich back to the ground, and the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Gina Mazany by TKO at 4:10 of Round 3
Mazany was more skilled everywhere the fight went, but Ostovich was tough, and to her credit, she kept the fight competitive until the third round. Still, neither of these fighters are in a great spot right now, and it wouldn’t shock me if this is the last time that we see Ostovich in the UFC. Mazany improved to 3-4 in the UFC with this win.
MARTIN DAY (8-4, 135.5) VS ANDERSON DOS SANTOS (20-8, 135) – BANTAMWEIGHT
They exchanged kicks to begin the fight. Day defended a takedown attempt from Dos Santos, and Dos Santos caught him with a pair of big punches against the cage. Day continued to defend takedown attempts from Dos Santos, but at the halfway point of the round, Dos Santos picked Day up and slammed him down to the ground. He transitioned to side control, and Day ate a hard elbow. Day worked his way up, but immediately shot for a huge takedown of his own, and Dos Santos caught him in a guillotine. Day tapped out, and Anderson Dos Santos picked up the first-round submission victory.
WINNER: Anderson Dos Santos by guillotine at 4:35 of Round 1
Dos Santos was overcome by emotion following his win, as this was his first UFC win after dropping his first two fights in the promotion. Day made a big mistake going for that takedown, and immediately paid the price for his decision. This was a good win for Dos Santos, and he expressed his desire to return to the octagon quickly following this performance.
JONATHAN PEARCE (9-4, 145.5) VS KAI KAMAKA (8-2, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT
They exchanged body kicks to begin the round. Kamaka caught Pearce with his left hand a number of times, as well as a couple more kicks to the body. As Pearce stepped in with a kick, Kamaka took him down, but Pearce quickly made his way back to his feet. Both men were throwing in combination, and generally doing good work on the feet throughout the round. Pearce took Kamaka down, and tried to take Kamaka’s back. Kamaka quickly picked himself up and created some distance between them. This was a very close round, but I gave the edge to Kamaka.
Pearce began the round with another takedown, and this time he was more successful with his back take. Kamaka turned into it and he managed to separate once again. Pearce connected with a right hook, and they exchanged body shots. Pearce took Kamaka back down, and he landed some good ground and pound strikes, before looking to take Kamaka’s back once again. He flattened Kamaka out and he was landing great shots from this positon, but gave it up to look for a choke. He was unsuccessful, and Kamaka worked his way up once again. Pearce immediately shot for another takedown, and he almost got caught in a guillotine. He escaped it however, and flattened Kamaka out once again from his back. This time, he didn’t give up on the ground and pound, and the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Jonathan Pearce by TKO at 4:28 of Round 2
The fight was very close on the feet, but once Pearce realized that he could seemingly take Kamaka’s back and flatten him out at will, it became more of a one-sided fight. This was a great comeback after a rough loss to Joe Lauzon in his UFC debut, and we got to see a lot more of his game here. He looked good here, and I’ll be interested in his next fight.
The UFC confirmed that Marvin Vettori would step in to face Jack Hermansson in next weekends Fight Night main event, and Kevin Holland (who withdrew from the Hermansson fight after testing positive for COVID-19) is now scheduled to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 256.
ASHLEE EVANS-SMITH (6-4, 135.5) VS NORMA DUMONT (4-1, 139.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Viana missed weight by 3.5lbs, and she was fined 30% of her purse.
Evans-Smith was the aggressor, but she was getting countered when she moved forward, making her somewhat hesitant to engage at times. Evans-Smith was not taking these counter shots well, and Felder was speculating about why she looked so off on commentary. Dumont defended a takedown attempt, and cut Evans-Smith open on the nose. Dumont took Evans-Smith down near the end of the round. 10-9 Dumont.
Evans-Smith succeeded on her first takedown attempt of the round, but Dumont quickly gained the upper hand and she began to work from half mount. She moved into full mount, but she really wasn’t able to do much with it. Later in the round she landed a couple elbows, but Evans-Smith used the separation to return to her feet. Dumont landed a counter left hook. Dumont won the rest of the round on the feet, and was clearly up going into the third.
Dumont continued to tag Evans-Smith on the feet. Evans-Smith found some success with kicks to the body, but by and large this continued to be a one-sided fight. Dumont dropped Evans-Smith with a combination late in the round, but she didn’t get the finish and the fight went the distance. 30-27 Dumont.
WINNER: Norma Dumont by unanimous decision (30-26 all)
Dumont dominated this fight. From the opening round Evans-Smith didn’t appear to have much for Dumont, and I would be shocked if she landed more then twenty strikes throughout the fight. Unfortunately for Dumont, her performance was somewhat overshadowed by a sizeable weight miss. She was interviewed by Paul Felder (who gave an impassioned promo on fighters who have missed weight just a couple weeks ago), and he immediately questioned her on it. She detailed the obstacles to her weight cut, and promised that she would make weight for her next one. She is now 1-1 in the UFC.
SPIKE CARLYLE (9-2, 145.5) VS BILL ALGEO (13-5, 146) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Algeo caught Carlyle with a solid counter hook early. Carlyle just began to scream at Algeo at one point in the round. Algeo landed a spinning back kick to the body. Carlyle took Algeo down, and attempted to take his back near the cage, but Algeo was able to get back to his feet. Carlyle controlled the action as they grappled, and as they scrambled on the ground, Carlyle almost cinched in a bulldog choke. Algeo escaped the choke, and ended the round in dominant position. 10-9 Carlyle.
Carlyle briefly brought Algeo back to the ground in the opening minute of the second. After wrestling against the cage, Algeo got a takedown of his own, and took Carlyle’s back. He flattened Carlyle out, but wasn’t able to posture up to really punish Carlyle in that position. Carlyle managed to work his way on top, into Algeo’s guard, but wasn’t really able to do enough offensively to steal the round back. 19-19 going into the third round.
Both fighters were tired by the third round, but this was a round that both men needed to win. After a very close three minutes, Carlyle took Algeo down with two minutes remaining in the round, but he couldn’t hold him there for long. Carlyle ate a big knee on a takedown attempt, and a hard-left hand. Carlyle was exhausted, but he kept working for a takedown. He didn’t get another one, and I thought Algeo did enough to win the round. 29-28 Algeo.
WINNER: Bill Algeo by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
This was a very competitive fight, but Algeo was just the slightest step ahead for the majority of it. Both fighters showed off multiple aspects of their respective games here, and Algeo looked much better on the ground then he did in his last fight (although he wasn’t fighting Ricardo Lamas here, to be fair). Algeo is now 1-1 in the UFC.
JOSH PARISIAN (13-3, 265.5) VS PARKER PORTER (5-2, 263) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Porter landed a pair of rights and closed the distance early. They aggressively wrestled against the cage, and Porter looked to be getting the better of the striking exchanges, but he was backed off by a right hand from Parisian. Both men were landing some heavy shots, and Porter backed Parisian up with a combination of his own, before eating a clean spinning backfist. The output from both men was notably high for heavyweight MMA, and they looked exhausted by the end of the round. 10-9 Parisian.
Porter dropped Parisian early in the second round, and Porter followed him down to finish the fight with a choke, but he didn’t really have the angle for it. Parisian made it back to his feet, but he didn’t look like he had much left in the gas tank. Fortunately for him, Porter was equally as tired, and they continued to trade hands in the middle of the cage. Porter took Parisian down later in the round, and easily moved into half guard. He began to crank on the arm of Parisian, but he couldn’t find a finish. Parisian ate some big shots against the cage at the end of the round, but he made it to the bell. This was a very clear round for Porter.
The third round began with a low blow, and the fight was momentarily paused. Porter seemed like he had a lot more in the tank by the third round, and his leg kicks were beginning to add up as well. Parisian was eating big 1-2’s against the cage, and he was warned that he needed to fight back. He complied, but he looked rough, and he continued to eat a lot of hard shots. Again, to his credit, Parisian had no quit in him, but I thought this was another clear round for Porter. 29-28 Porter.
WINNER: Parker Porter by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
Porter and Parisian brawled for the majority of this fight, and I’m surprised that the fight went the distance. As I mentioned, Porter had a slight cardio advantage, which gave him a huge edge as the fight progressed. A fascinating fact that the commentary team pointed out, is that Porter actually faced Jon Jones in Porter’s third professional fight. He lost the fight by first round knockout, but I would imagine that it’s been quite the journey that led up to him picking up his first UFC win twelve years later. He is now 1-1 in the promotion.
MIGUEL BAEZA (9-0, 171) VS TAKASHI SATO (16-3, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT
Baeza connected with a kick to the body, and backed Sato up with a sharp 1-2. Neither fighter was committing to combinations, which allowed Baeza to use his reach advantage to remain active with kicks from a distance. Sato was kicked low, and the fight was paused while he was given time to recover. Baeza connected with a big knee up the middle, and followed it up with a straight right hand. Sato sat Baeza down with a jab towards the end of the round, when Baeza was off balance. 10-9 Baeza.
Sato was bleeding under his right eye. He was having trouble building any momentum, and was getting tagged repeatedly whenever he closed the distance. Baeza continued to incorporate a significant amount of kicks to the body into his attack, and took Sato down late in the round. He was able to lock in an arm triangle, and he finished the fight.
WINNER: Miguel Baeza by arm triangle at 4:28 of Round 2
Sato was unable to get anything going for him here. His striking accuracy was very low, and credit has to go to Baeza, who fought a terrific fight here. He was clearly the better striker, and he finished the fight right after he got it to the ground. He is now 3-0 in the UFC, and he has finished each of those fights in the second round.
ANTHONY SMITH (33-16, 205) VS DEVIN CLARK (12-4, 204.5) – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Clark swarmed Smith early and landed a right hand, but Smith quickly brought him down to the ground, and took Clark’s back. Clark powered out from the bottom, and began to work from Smith’s guard. Smith threw up a triangle from the bottom, and began to squeeze with his legs. Clark tried to get Smith off of him with hammerfists, but Smith didn’t let go, and Clark was forced to submit.
WINNER: Anthony Smith by triangle choke at 2:34 of Round 1
Clark was confident in his wrestling, but Smith is no slouch on the ground, and he has faced the best of the best since moving to 205lbs. He really needed this win after his last two fights, and this weekend could not have gone better for him. Moving into the main event slot, picking up a first-round finish: this was exactly what he needed to remind people why he is ranked where he is in the division. He did not call for any specific fight in his post-fight interview, but I think a rematch against Volkan Oezdemir would make a lot of sense for both fighters.