Inside the Octagon: Anthony Smith’s Spectacular MMA Run

Anthony Smith's Spectacular MMA Run


Anthony Smith’s fight against Vitor Petrino at UFC 301 will mark the 57th professional MMA bout for Lionheart. With his recent struggles, it may also be one of the most important for him.

Smith looked like he was on the rise in 2018 when he picked up consecutive wins over Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, and Volkan Oezdemir. The string of wins earned him a title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 235. But that championship fight did not go in his favour as Jones defeated Smith by unanimous decision. 

Since that loss, Smith has struggled to get back to the top. Although he is still the current No.10 ranked contender in the UFC, Lionheart has not won more than three straight fights. He is 5-5 in his last 10 Octagon appearances, including 1-3 in his previous four. In his last fight, Smith was knocked out by Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 233.

At UFC 301 on 4 May 2024, Anthony Smith will be facing rising prospect Vitor Petrino. The undefeated Brazilian is 4-0 in the UFC and won’t be a walk in the park for Smith. Although it’s not a must-win fight for Smith to stay alive in the UFC, he needs it to prolong his already lengthy mixed martial arts career.

Smith’s MMA began in 2008 when he submitted Dave Moran at Victory FC 22 on 29 February 2008. Ten fights later, however, he was just a 5-6 middleweight fighter moving from one promotion to another. But that’s when Anthony turned things around. He won 13 out of his next 18 bouts to improve to improve to 18-11. Then he took it to the next level.

Seven straight wins including bouts that won him the Cage Fury FC and Victory FC middleweight championships got him noticed by the UFC again. Smith had a one-off for the UFC on Fuel TV 10 in 2013 but didn’t get a second fight offer from the promotion. This time around, the much older, wiser, and better Smith stuck in the UFC for good. That’s where we currently stand. Heading to UFC 301, Smith has a record of 37-19 with 20 knockouts and 14 submissions. Of his 19 losses, 11 have been by knockout and four via submission.