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Anthony Smith flying to UFC 283 in Brazil, will serve as backup for Teixeira-Hill title fight

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently handpicked Jamahal Hill to battle Glover Teixeira for the vacant 205-pound title, thanks to a disappointing draw between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 earlier this month in Las Vegas, but that meant canceling the previously scheduled matchup between Hill and Anthony Smith.

Watch “Lionheart” get the disappointing news right here.

LIVE! Watch UFC 283 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

UFC’s 2023 PPV DEBUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its New Year pay-per-view (PPV) campaign on Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Glover Teixeira, looking to stop the momentum of surging No. 7-seeded up-and-comer, Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the greatest rivalries in promotional history resumes as Flyweight kingpin, Deiveson Figueiredo, battles interim belt keeper, Brandon Moreno, for a fourth (and likely final) time.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

The consolation prize for Smith is a trip to the UFC 283 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he will weigh in and serve as backup for the Hill-Teixeira title fight. That may (or may not) make his current training camp a bit awkward considering he was recently enlisted to help Team Hill prepare for the Brazilian powerhouse.

“I’m going to fly to Brazil,” Smith told his ESPN co-analysts after UFC Vegas 66. “I’m going to weigh in at 205 pounds. I don’t suspect that these guys are gonna have problems, they’re both professionals, but if something does happen, I’ll be there to step in.”

The light heavyweight division was thrown into chaos when newly-crowned titleholder, Jiri Prochazka, blew out his shoulder and went under the knife, leading to a lengthy absence and the dissolution of his Teixeira rematch. What the division looks like upon his eventual return remains to be seen but it sounds like UFC is trying to cover all its bases.

Stay tuned.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 283 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 283: “Teixeira vs. Hill” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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