LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT FINISHERS ROUND OUT STACKED AUGUST ACTION AS (#5) ANTHONY SMITH TAKES ON (#8) ALEKSANDAR RAKIC
(#13) ROBBIE LAWLER vs. (#14) NEIL MAGNY
Las Vegas – The last UFC® event in August is set be headlined by an exciting bout featuring light heavyweight finishers looking to make a statement as No. 5 ranked Anthony Smith takes on No. 8 Aleksandar Rakic in a three-round main event.In the co-main event, former UFC welterweight champion and No. 13 ranked contender Robbie Lawler returns to action to battle fellow veteran and No. 14 ranked Neil Magny. This event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance pursuant to a Health, Safety and Operations plan approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: SMITH vs. RAKIC will take place Saturday, August 29 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas with all fights carried exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. The main card begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, with the prelims kicking off at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.
Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Smith (32-15, fighting out of Omaha, Neb.) aims to impress with another highlight-reel finish. Having ended an incredible 30 of his 32 wins before the final bell, Smith has established himself as one of the most thrilling athletes on the roster with victories over Alexander Gustafsson, Mauricio Rua and Rashad Evans. He now looks to work his way back to the title picture by becoming the first man in the UFC to stop Rakic.
Among the youngest members of the light heavyweight top 10, Rakic (12-2, fighting out of Vienna, Austria) intends to steal the show and earn the biggest win of his career. A former kickboxer with nine of his 12 wins coming by knockout, Rakic rose through the ranks with emphatic first-round finishes of Jimi Manuwa and Devin Clark. He now seeks to prove that he can compete with the top of the division and solidify himself as a future title threat.
Former UFC welterweight champion and fan-favorite Lawler (28-14, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) returns to action for the first time in over a year. Among the most revered athletes on the roster, Lawler made his mark in the division with historic wins over Rory MacDonald, Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks. He now aims to deliver a vintage performance to snap his recent losing streak and begin the climb back up the 170-pound rankings.
A UFC veteran since 2013, Magny (23-8, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) has competed against some of the biggest names in the welterweight division. Among the most active athletes on the roster with a record-tying five wins in a calendar year, Magny’s resume includes notable victories over Kelvin Gastelum, Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Carlos Condit. He now looks to extend his current win streak and break into the top 10 of the division.
Additional bouts on the card include:
· No. 14 ranked women’s flyweight Ji Yeon Kim (8-2-2, fighting out of Incheon, South Korea) welcomes No. 14 ranked women’s strawweight Alexa Grasso (11-3, fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico) to the 125-pound division
· In a highly-anticipated light heavyweight rematch, No. 14 ranked Magomed Ankalaev (13-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) and Ion Cutelaba (15-5 1 NC, fighting out of Moldavian, Romanian) look to earn a definitive win
· Dana White’s Contender Series veterans clash as Maki Pitolo (13-6, fighting out of Makaha, Hawaii) makes a quick return to the Octagon to take on recent signee Impa Kasanganay (7-0, fighting out of Charlotte, N.C.)
· Mallory Martin (6-3, fighting out of Brighton, Colo.) goes for her first UFC win when she meets Hannah Cifers (10-6, fighting out Kittrell, N.C.)
· Middleweight veterans hunt to get back in the win column as Alessio Di Chirico (12-4, fighting out of Rome, Italy) takes on Zak Cummings (23-7, fighting out of Kansas City, Mo.)
· In a featherweight bout guaranteed to deliver action, Alex Caceres (16-12, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) looks to hand former GLORY kickboxer Giga Chikadze (10-2, fighting out of Tbilisi, Georgia) his first UFC loss
· Polyana Viana (10-4, fighting out of São Geraldo do Araguaia, Para, Brazil) and Emily Whitmire (4-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) meet in a clash of women’s strawweight hopefuls
· Undefeated welterweight prospect Sean Brady (12-0, fighting out of Philadelphia, Pa.) looks to snap the win streak of Christian Aguilera (14-6, fighting out of Brea, Calif.)
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