On May 13, the main event of a future UFC event will feature a five-round light heavyweight fight between Anthony Smith and Johnny Walker.
Although the athletes have verbal agreements in place, MMA Ideas initially stated that the location and venue for the fight have not yet been revealed. The booking has since been confirmed by other media outlets.
The former contender for the light heavyweight belt will be attempting to recover from a TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev last year. Jamahal Hill, the current light heavyweight champion, was supposed to meet Smith in March, but the matchup was cancelled after ‘Sweet Dreams’ was given the opportunity to defend his title against Glover Teixeira at UFC 283.
In a recent fight at UFC 283, Johnny Walker defeated Paul Craig with a stunning first-round knockout. After defeating “Bearjew” and Ion Cutelaba, the 30-year-old Brazilian will look to extend his winning streak. Walker, the No. 7-ranked light heavyweight, is 3-2 in his previous five matches and, with a victory over Smith, may enter the title picture.
In his previous five games, Anthony Smith has also gone 3-2. Before suffering a serious leg injury against Ankalaev at UFC 277, “Lionheart” was on a three-fight winning streak. The 34-year-old American is presently ranked No. 5 in his division, and a victory over Walker would undoubtedly strengthen his case for a crack at the championship.
Jamahal Hill wants Anthony Smith to be the first one to challenge him for the title
Jamahal Hill’s bout with Glover Teixeira for the vacant light heavyweight title was later rescheduled from his initial opponent of Anthony Smith at UFC Vegas 71 next month. To get Smith ready for the biggest competition of his career, Hill and Smith even exercised together.
It’s interesting that “Lionheart,” who failed to make weight for the UFC 283 main event, was chosen as its backup opponent. Sweet Dreams, though, wants the promotion to disregard it and offer Smith the next opportunity to win the title, even if it’s not in his favour.
Hill argued Smith’s case in an interview with MMA Junkie, saying:
“Even if it’s against me, there is nothing I would enjoy more than for my brother to have a chance at gold. He has been here for a very long time. He has been employed. He experienced an uncontrollable hiccup that resulted in him breaking his ankle. Other than that, he’s been doing great. He defeated three competitors in a row who were hungry, up-and-coming men.