UFC on ESPN+ 33: Smith vs. Rakic predictions
The UFC returns to Las Vegas this weekend as the light heavyweight division takes the spotlight in Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic.
Two preliminary fighters (Austin Springer and Hannah Cifers) missed weight, but all fights will go ahead as scheduled.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
MAIN CARD (9PM ET/6PM PT)
#13 MAGOMED ANKALAEV (14-1-0) VS. ION CUTELABA (15-5-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Ankalaev won the first one under heavy controversy. Cutelaba will be gunning in this rematch, but I have to side with Ankalaev on this one.
Andrews Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev via UD
RICARDO LAMAS (19-8-0) VS. BILL ALGEO (13-4-0)
Andrews: Algeo is replacing Ryan Hall on short notice. Lamas is 38 and has lost three of his last four, but he should have a big advantage here.
Andrews Prediction: Ricardo Lamas via TKO
#14 JI YEON KIM (9-2-2) VS. #14 ALEXA GRASSO (11-3-0)
Andrews: Grasso is making her debut at flyweight. Kim is a good fighter, but if Grasso handled her weight properly, she should edge out a decision.
Andrews Prediction: Alexa Grasso via UD
#13 ROBBIE LAWLER (28-14-0, 1NC) VS. #14 NEIL MAGNY (23-7-0)
Andrews: Lawler is always a tough customer but at 38 and unless he lands some big shots, Magny’s all-around striking should be able to overcome.
Andrews Prediction: Neil Magny via UD
#5 ANTHONY SMITH (33-15-0) VS. #9 ALEKSANDAR RAKIC (12-2-0)
Andrews: Smith was dominated by Teixeira in his last bout, but has a knack for bouncing back. But I like Rakic’s striking, and if he performs, should be able to pile up enough points to take the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic via UD