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UFC Vegas 8 free fight: Anthony Smith chokes out Volkan Oezdemir to earn UFC title shot (video)

Anthony Smith will look to get back into the win column this Saturday night (Aug. 29, 2020) when he takes on Aleksandar Rakic in the main event of UFC Vegas 8 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. A win will help erase the memory of his one-sided loss to Glover Teixeira this past May, which saw him lose a couple of teeth in the process. Still, “Lionheart” showed just how tough he is by fighting through the pain before being stopped in the fifth and final round.

And now that the division is wide open thanks to Jon Jones moving up to Heavyweight, Smith — and the rest of the 205 pound fighters — have a chance to make their move. Before then, let’s take a trip down memory lane to see one of Smith’s most impressive wins inside the Octagon.

Back in 2018, “Lionheart” found himself locked inside the Octagon against former title contender, Volkan Oezdemir, who was coming off a championship loss to Daniel Cormier. Smith, meanwhile, was fresh off two blistering wins over Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua in his first two fights at Light Heavyweight.

After a back-and-forth first couple of rounds, Smith really starting to find his range in what was an entertaining third round. After busting up Oezdemir’s grill up a bit, Smith scored a takedown and eventually took “No Time’s” back. After a bit of a struggle, Smith eventually sunk in a fight-ending rear naked choke to give him his third straight win. It proved to be enough to earn him a shot at Jon Jones, though he went on to lose a unanimous decision to the former champion at UFC 235.

Now, Smith will look to get back on track by tying to hand Rakic his second straight loss after previously going unbeaten in seven years. An impressive win in “Sin City” could get “Lionheart” back to the big dance sooner, rather than later.

To see the full UFC Vegas 8 fight card click here.