Magomed Ankalaev plans to prove Anthony Smith’s time as a title contender “is over” at UFC 277

By Cole Shelton - July 28, 2022

Magomed Ankalaev plans to end Anthony Smith’s time as a contender in the UFC on Saturday at UFC 277.

Magomed Ankalaev

Opening up the pay-per-view main card is a pivotal light heavyweight scrap as Ankalaev is set to face Smith in a potential title eliminator fight. Although Smith is on a three-fight winning streak and has won all three fights by stoppage, Ankalaev plans to end the impressive run and prove how much better he is.

“I think his time is over now and I’ll show it on Saturday that his time has passed at this point,” Ankalaev said at the UFC 277 press conference.

Magomed Ankalaev has looked impressive in the UFC so far but even if he defeats Anthony Smith, it likely won’t be the end of ‘Lionheart’ as a title contender.

Yet for Smith, he is confident he will derail Ankalaev’s hype train by forcing the Russian into a dog fight at UFC 277.

“Ankalaev has been in 18 mixed martial arts competitions, but he’s never been in a fight, on Saturday night, he’s going to be in a fight,” Smith said at the press conference.

Magomed Ankalaev (17-1) is currently ranked fourth at light heavyweight and coming off a decision win over Thiago Santos in his first UFC main event. Prior to that, he beat Volkan Oezdemir and Nikita Krylov by decision following the back-to-back knockout wins over Ion Cutelaba. The Russian is 8-1 in the UFC and on an eight-fight win streak with his lone loss coming by submission to Paul Craig.

Anthony Smith (36-16) is ranked fifth and submitted Ryan Spann last time out after scoring a TKO win over Jimmy Crute and submitted Devin Clark. Lionheart is a former light heavyweight title challenger and also holds notable wins over Alexander Gustafsson, Shogun Rua, and Rashad Evans.

Do you think Magomed Ankalaev will end Anthony Smith’s time as a contender at UFC 277?