clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anthony Smith agrees to fight Shogun Rua at UFC Hamburg

With Volkan Oezdemir moved to UFC 227, Mauricio Rua will now fight Anthony Smith in the UFC Hamburg main event.

MMA: UFC 225-Evans vs Smith Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

When the UFC booked Volkan Oezdemir to fight Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 in August, it left Mauricio Rua without an opponent for the UFC Hamburg main event later this month. Thankfully, it looks as if the solution has already been found.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and MMAjunkie both reported on Monday that Anthony Smith has agreed to step in on short notice and take on the former light heavyweight champion. This is the first time that Smith has headlined a UFC event.

Smith (29-13) was campaigning to fight on the UFC Lincoln card in his home state of Nebraska, and was even willing to accept a heavyweight bout, but for now his next stop is in Germany. He’s coming off a 53-second KO of the newly retired Rashad Evans at UFC 225 in June. “Lionheart” has won four of his last five, all by knockout, and the victory against Evans marked the longtime middleweight’s debut at 205 lbs.

Rua (25-10) has not fought in more than a year, but he is on a three-fight winning streak. His previous outing saw him TKO Gian Villante in March 2017. Shogun was scheduled to face Ovince Saint Preux last September, but had to withdraw due to a knee injury. He was also slated to fight Oezdemir at UFC Chile in May, only for Oezdemir to be pulled from the card due to visa issues.

UFC Fight Night: Hamburg takes place on Sunday, July 22nd. The entire 11-fight card airs on FS1, starting at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT with the prelims, followed by the main card at 2 PM ET/11 FinalizeAM PT.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow