Anthony Smith Primed For UFC 301 Glory

Anthony Smith Primed For UFC 301 Glory


Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith will return to action at UFC 301 on 4 May 2024 at the Farmassi Arena in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. 

The 35-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska has been booked to fight undefeated Brazilian prospect Vitor Petrino in what has been slated as the third fight of the event’s main card. The bout will be Smith’s first since a third-round TKO loss to Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 233 last 9 December 2023.

Known as Lionheart, Smith is a former middleweight champion from the Cage Fury FC and Victory FC promotions. Smith also fought for notable promotions like Strikeforce and Bellator before settling down in the UFC.

Actually, this is Smith’s second tour of duty with the UFC. In 2013, he fought Antonio Braga Neto at UFC on Fuel TV 10 but tapped out in the first round via kneebar submission and was subsequently released by the promotion. But after defeating Josh Neer to win the VFC middleweight championship, he was signed back by the UFC and he hasn’t looked back since.

After a 4-2 start to his Octagon career, Smith moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2018 and had a sensational year. He defeated former UFC champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua in consecutive bouts and then submitted fellow rising contender Volkan Oezdemir to earn a shot at the light heavyweight belt held by Jon Jones.

Jones handily beat Smith via unanimous decision at UFC 235. Since then, Lionheart’s UFC career has been an up-and-down one. He is 5-5 in his last 10 bouts with losses in three out of his last four assignments. 

Meanwhile, Petrino is undefeated in 11 MMA bouts with seven wins via knockout and one by submission. The 26-year-old Brazilian is 4-0 with two stoppages in the UFC. Petrino defeated Tyson Pedro via unanimous decision in his most recent fight at UFC Fight Night 238 last March 2, 2024.

UFC 201 will be headlined by Petrino’s fellow Brazilian Alexandre Pantoja who will defend the UFC flyweight belt against No.10 ranked Steve Erceg of Australia. The only other fight with a higher billing than Smith vs Petrino is the co-main event between the returning King of Rio Jose Aldo and the streaking Jonathan Martinez.