UFC Fight Night 175 Odds: Upstart Rakic Favored Over ‘Lionheart’ Smith

Posted on: August 29, 2020, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 02:36h.

Aleksandar Rakic will try to score the biggest win of his career on Saturday. That’s when he takes on veteran light heavyweight Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith in the main event of UFC Fight Night 175 from the Apex facility in Las Vegas.

Anthony Smith Aleksandar Rakic UFC
Anthony Smith (left) and Aleksandar Rakic (right) stare each other down in the lead up to UFC Fight Night 175 on Aug. 29, 2020. (Image: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa)

Rakic enters the fight as a -290 favorite over Smith (+235), according to odds posted by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Rakic Looks to Light Heavyweight Scene

While Rakic (12-2) hasn’t yet become a household name for most UFC fans, he has become one of the most promising light heavyweight prospects in the promotion. After losing his debut fight as a pro, Rakic ran off 12 straight wins, including four in the UFC.

His last fight came in December 2019, when he lost by split decision to Volkan Oezdemir. The decision sparked controversy, as most media members had Rakic winning the fight. In any case, the result did little to slow Rakic’s accent, as he currently sits eighth in the UFC’s divisional rankings.

The loss did result in Rakic working harder than ever in the lead up to his fight with Smith. Rakic is determined to ensure that his hard camp results in a win on Saturday.

“This fight is the biggest fight of my career, and the most important fight for me,” Rakic told UFC.com. “[Smith] has the lion heart, like his nickname. He’s mentally very strong, and he can take a beating, plus he can also bring it and finish people. But I’m the most explosive guy in the division – that’s why they call me ‘Rocket’- and I’m going to show that on Saturday night.”

‘Lionheart’ Ready to Prove He’s Still a Contender

Smith (33-15) has lost two of his last three fights, though those losses came to big names in former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira. While Smith is just 32 years old, he is among the most experienced fighters in the division, one that has developed a reputation as a performer who always puts on the best show possible for fans.

When I care less, I’m really hard to beat,” Smith told MMA Fighting. “That’s kind of similar to how I am now. I’m not really focused on beating Rakic. Honestly, he’s super dangerous, so that’s kind of fun for me. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m crazy. I really get excited when guys are really dangerous. I don’t know if it’s that adrenaline feeling, or the fight itself. I don’t know.”

Rakic enters the fight as a deserving favorite. While the Austrian fighter is on his way towards becoming a title contender, Smith’s star is fading a bit, as he lacks a signature win over a top-ranked opponent in the prime of their career. But that doesn’t mean Lionheart can’t win the fight. Rakic has shown deficiencies in his defensive skills, meaning there’s always the potential for Smith to land a knockout blow and cause an upset that puts him back in the title picture.