Prediction for the fight Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith

Russian light heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev confidently made his way to the top five, removing one opponent after another. And now, it remains for him to take the last step before clashing with the champion, and Anthony Smith, a UFC veteran who previously fought for the gold of the organization, wants to prevent the Dagestani from doing this.

Their fight will be part of the main card of the UFC 277 tournament, which will be held on the night of July 30-31 in Dallas. Literally everything is at stake, including several years of fierce confrontations in one of the most competitive divisions of the promotion. Who will get the opportunity to prove themselves in a duel with the leader of this weight division? We will try to answer this question in our detailed prediction.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith

Magomed Ankalaev

The Russian takes the 4th line in the official UFC light heavyweight ranking. Despite the fact that many people know him as a native of combat sambo, Magomed started with Greco-Roman wrestling. Nevertheless, he achieved the best results in the BS, where he became a master of sports. Speaking as an amateur in MMA, he won the championship of Russia and the world, thanks to which he received the title of MSMK.

In 2016, Ankalaev became the WFCA champion and, having fought a couple more times in his homeland, went to conquer the 93 kg category in the UFC. The debut for him was a failure, since Paul Craig inflicted his first defeat in his career, and even by submission, but then Magomed's path in the best promotion in the world was reinforced by confident victories and reaching top positions.


Ankalaev is interesting because he can quickly change the position of the second number to the first one. He perfectly counters the attacks of opponents, and as soon as he gets operational space for offensive actions, he immediately reduces the distance and destroys the opponent’s defense with combinations reinforced by the onslaught.

Subtle control of everything that happens in the cell and complete concentration allow Magomed to ideally feel the moment for the explosion. He is fast, accurate and clearly understands how to make the enemy make a mistake in order to find the moment for the decisive blow.

The past in the struggle opens up the perspective for the Dagestanis to work from above. He quickly improves positions, climbs into the mount, from where he crushes opponents with ground and pound. Even here the power of our athlete allows him to finish his colleagues.

Due to the reaction, footwork and speed qualities, Magomed stops transfers and rarely allows himself to get hit in the rack. On top of that, he is well versed in the technique of working with the body and tilting his head, minimizing the resulting damage even more.


The only thing that critics can catch on to is the defeat of Ankalaev by submission. Should this be taken as its weakness? The answer is no. In the fight with Craig, he dominated him on the ground and standing, making only one mistake. However, this does not reflect his level in any way, and if we cannot call Magomed an elite fighter, then at least he cannot be considered weak in this aspect.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

The Russian is 30 years old, and at the moment he is on a series of 8 victories, the last of which was won in March 2022 over Thiago Santos. Before that, Ankalaev passed Volkan Ozdemir, Nikita Krylov, and Ion Kutselaba, speaking twice a year. Indicators of endurance, general level of readiness and learning ability of the representative of Makhachkala are in order, which he proves from fight to fight. Therefore, within the framework of the upcoming confrontation, where the status of the contender is at stake, we expect him to perform at the highest level.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith

The American closes the top five in light heavyweight and, as they say in the West, is a "freestyle" fighter. In fact, Smith is a kickboxer who has exceeded all expectations during his BJJ training, as he has a black belt and has repeatedly proved his high level of training on the ground with submissions. Anthony has titles in the CFFC and VFC leagues, as well as more than 50 fights.

In the UFC, "Lionheart" not only earned bonuses for the brightest performances, but also became a contender, however, against the background of Jon Jones, he looked faded. Now, after the decline, Smith has found a second youth and is looking to break into the title race again, having dealt with the lion's share of the tops of past and present years.


Anthony always develops success in those fights where he is allowed to fight the first number. And if everything is clear with the stand, we will talk about it a little later, then on the ground it is no less dangerous. Yes, the opposition he defeated is far from grapplers, but this fighter knows how to throw a hand triangle and choke opponents from behind, better than any other.

Smith's anthropometry allows him to fight at long range, and he has more than enough punches in his arsenal to neutralize opponents. However, his kicks on the calf muscles and thigh in his performance are a special art, Jimmy Krut will not let you lie.

The melee of the American is also pumped to the maximum. Clinches, where he charges with elbows and knees at different angles, drying out the ribs and opening cuts on the head, force his opponents to retreat and think more about defense than attack.


"Lionheart" Anthony was nicknamed because he never gives up, fights to the end, even when he loses. Only the point is that the athlete himself plunges himself into situations where he has to survive. He does not put up defense in the best way, poorly realizes the potential of a striker in the work of the second number, and even morally sags when faced with setbacks, taking on the role of a pear for beating - the fighter has confessed to mental problems more than once.

It was mentioned above that in attacking on the ground, Smith is scary. But when they are on top of it, the situation changes radically. In such positions, he rarely responds to blows, puts up a deaf defense, and most importantly, he does not know how to improve his position, trying to defeat the technique with physical force, because of which he instantly gets tired.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Anthony is 33 years old, he fought his last fight in September 2021 and is now on a 3 win streak. Early victories over Ryan Spann, Jimmy Krut and Devin Clark were obtained after crushing defeats to Glover Teixeira and Alexander Rakic. Smith has shown his maximum for a long time, and now he keeps at the level thanks to adequate physical conditions and experience. However, he cannot cope with the guys of a higher class due to the above qualities, because Anthony's success in recent years is explained only by the right opposition.

Comparative analysis

The dimensions of the fighters are approximately similar, and Smith's 3 cm advantage in height and arm span will not play a global role. Stylistically, he has nothing to oppose to Ankalaev, since he is in no way inferior to him in the stance, and definitely shows himself better on the ground. A shootout on arms and legs in their case will be interesting, since both have a wide technical arsenal and hit their legs a lot. But, the main difference between them will be that Anthony will stand in a wide stance and will feel the distance with kicks, and Magomed will start moving, not allowing himself to be hit. Because of this, the American will have to go forward, and then Ankalaev's counterpuncher game will begin to work in full force.

He is noticeably more skilled in breaking the distance and rapprochement, performs a larger amount of work, and most importantly, does it more accurately. His timing, speed and fast feet will be the key factor in getting the better of his opponent. Returning to the wide stance of the Lionheart, we note that he will be an ideal target for Magomed's translations if something does not work out in the stance. And the fact that our athlete definitely looks better in position control and ground and pound does not bode well for Smith. So, if the latter is not outplayed in the standing position, then he has every chance to go to the zero floor. Is a submission by Anthony likely? Of course, yes, only the Dagestani worked very well on this moment, and within 3 rounds, where he will be ahead in cardio, it is unlikely that he will be able to delay it.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Anthony Smith Fight Prediction

It cannot be said that Magomed is two steps ahead of Smith in all respects. Simply, this is a younger, hardier, so to speak, sharp fighter in his actions. Since the American is not particularly good in fights where he is not allowed to control all the moments, and there are more than enough holes in his defense, it is quite expected that in 15 minutes Ankalaev will be able to find the moment to deliver the decisive blow. At least in the third round, Smith usually arranges frank cuts, where he eats more hits than he throws himself. Therefore, a neat and prudent Russian will look more and more convincing in the eyes of the judges with each segment. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Victory of Magomed Ankalaev

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