The UFC is starting to finalize their plans for their newly announced upcoming fight cards. Over the course of the past week, the promotion revealed that they would be hosting their rescheduled UFC 249 event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL on May 9th.
Alongside the upcoming PPV offering, the UFC also unveiled plans to host two more events at the arena in the same week—Fight Night cards scheduled for May 13th and May 16th. Now it looks like those cards have headline fights as well. Anthony Smith will fight Glover Teixeira in the main event of the May 13 card, and Alistair Overeem will fight Walt Harris in the main event of the May 16th card. Both fights had been previously planned for now-cancelled shows. With Overeem vs. Harris set to be the headliner for the UFC’s April 11th show in Portland, OR, and Smith vs. Teixeira planned for April 25th, in Lincoln, NE. MMA Junkie first reported the news, and MMA Fighting has since confirmed the story.
For Anthony Smith, this will be his second fight back since losing his 2019 title shot against champion Jon Jones. Smith returned in June of last year against Alexander Gustafsson, submitting the Swede in the 4th round. Teixeira is currently coming off a surprising run of success. After going win-loss in six fights between 2016 & 2018, the Brazilian racked up three straight victories last year, submitting Karl Roberson and Ion Cutelaba, and taking a split decision over Nikita Krylov.
Alistair Overeem enters his bout against Walt Harris on the back of a shocking last-second KO loss to newly minted contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik back in December. That defeat broke a two fight win streak for the ‘Reem,’ with victories over Sergei Pavlovich and Alexey Oleynik in his two previous bouts. For Harris, his fight against Overeem will be his first since the tragic kidnapping and murder of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard. The two men were actually scheduled to fight late last year, when the ongoing search for Blanchard led Harris to step away from competition. Harris is unbeaten in his last four fights, going back to a DQ loss to Mark Godbeer in 2017.