During last night’s UFC 252 broadcast the promotion revealed that their August 29th event will feature light heavyweights in its main event slot. At the event, which will take place at the UFC APEX facility, Anthony Smith will take on Aleksandar Rakic in a three round bout.
Smith vs. Rakic had previously been announced for the prelims on that upcoming card. However, when the scheduled headliner for the event—Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov fell through thanks to a Rodriguez injury—the bout was promoted to the main event.
At UFC 235 in March 2019 Smith unsuccessfully challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. Prior to that, the 32-year-old won three straight fights, beating former champs Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua by KO and former challenger Volkan Oezdemir by submission.
After the Jones loss Smith submitted another former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. His most recent fight was a loss to yet another former title challenger: Glover Teixiera. That fight headlined one of the shows the UFC put on in their short-lived Jacksonville COVID-19 bubble in May.
Smith had a tough time in there with Teixeira, sustaining a lot of damage before eventually succumbing to a 5th round TKO. After the fight questions were asked about whether Smith’s corner should have attempted to elicit a corner stoppage to save Smith suffering more than he had to.
Rakic tasted UFC defeat for the first time in his last fight—at UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Korean Zombie in December. There he lost to Volkan Oezdemir by split decision, despite many onlookers scoring the fight for Rakic.
Prior to that loss the 28-year-old Austrian had won 12 fights in a row, four of which came inside the UFC Octagon. When he faced Oezdemir, Rakic was coming off a head kick KO win over Jimi Manuwa.
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic also features a featherweight bout between Ricardo Lamas and Ryan Hall and a welterweight clash between Neil Magny and Robbie Lawler.