The UFC returns this Saturday with Fight Night 192, two weeks removed from Liverpool’s Darren Till suffering a third-round submission defeat to Derek Brunson. The main event features former UFC Light Heavyweight title contender Anthony Smith against 11th-ranked Ryan Spann, in a fight that could have big ramifications at 205Ib. Here’s a rundown of all the major action set to take place from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada.
Anthony Smith vs Ryan Spann
‘Lionheart’ Anthony Smith suffered a career down-turn after taking pound-for-pound great Jon Jones five rounds for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in 2019. The Texan was brutally stopped by Glover Texeira and decisioned by Aleksandar Rakic after his title defeat, and Smith looked to be in for a bleak winter in 2020. He rebounded with a submission win over Devin Clark in November before stopping Jimmy Crute in April of this year. Smith has spoken of how fighting further down the rankings has helped him rebuild, and is coming into this fight looking to re-establish himself in the title picture.
His opponent carries his own title ambitions, and Ryan Spann has gone the right way about it with a 5-1 record since joining the UFC in 2018. ‘Superman’ scored a UFC contract by choking out Emiliano Sordi on Dana White’s Contender Series. His last Octagon victory was an eye-catching one, earning a Performance of the Night for his first-round TKO of Misha Cirkunov. Spann also carries a standout win against Antônio Rogério Nogueira on his record, and boasts a dangerous submission game as well as dynamite in his fists.
Ion Cutelaba vs Devin Clark
Another fight that will have an impact on the state of the 205Ib division, the co-main event features two fighters looking to return to winning ways. Cutelaba is winless in three fights, though he did arrest a two-loss slump by drawing with Dustin Jacoby last time out. The Moldovan was supposed to fight Devin Clark on that night, but the ‘Brown Bear’ withdrew with an injury. ‘The Hulk’ gets his belated chance to face the American here.
Clark’s last fight came against Fight Night 192 headliner Anthony Smith, where he lost to a first-round triangle choke. His form before that ESPN main event was decent, racking up a pair of decision wins since a 2019 loss to this show’s other headliner, Ryan Spann. A card main-evented by two of his former conquerors is the perfect stage for Clark to re-assert himself as a force in the division.
Nikolas Motta vs Cameron VanCamp
Nikolas Motta’s UFC debut was supposed to come against the man who has the joint-most UFC fights in history, Jim Miller. Instead he will be facing a fellow debutant in Cameron VanCamp, after Miller withdrew due to a positive COVID test.
‘Iron Motta’ fought his way into the organisation through Dana White’s Contender Series, decisioning Joseph Lowry last year. He now faces a tricky late adjustment from facing a veteran fighter he was training for, to a relative unknown quantity.
VanCamp carries a 15-5-1 record, with the standout name on his ledger being former UFC fighter Bobby Voelker, who defeated him in 2019. However, he has strung together four wins since then for various independent organisations, and with 60% of his wins coming by submission he is a danger on the mat. Motta is still the pick in this one, but he faces a live underdog after less-than-idea preparation.
Ariane Lipski vs Mandy Bohm
American Top Team’s Muay Thai standout Ariane Lipski faces Mandy Bohm in the women’s flyweight division. This fight was scheduled to take place on the Till vs Brunson card, but Bohm withdrew through illness.
Bohm holds an unbeaten record of 7 wins and 1 no-contest, picking up her last victory in Bellator against Griet Eeckhout. She takes her Octagon bow against a fighter who was stopped in her last two outings, but carries knockout power with 6 of her 13 wins arriving via stoppage.
This has all the makings of a true crossroads fight, the unbeaten debutant facing the seasoned UFC fighter. Lipski knows that a loss here could be fatal for her tenure with the company, while Bohm will want to make a dominant first impression on the big stage.