The second of three UFC shows from Florida this week takes place on Thursday and Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse looks at the betting...
"31-year-old Texan Smith is the punters’ pick to grab an important midweek win and that will come as little surprise to followers of UFC."
Anthony Smith v Glover Teixeira
Live on BT Sport
After waiting weeks for mixed martial arts action to return, the Ultimate Fighting Championship stage two big shows within four days of each other. Chief Dana White told fans he wants to make up for lost time and the American is certainly proving true to his words.
Following UFC 249, which was fought out at a deserted VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida on Saturday night, we're back at the Jacksonville venue for a midweek treat. UFC Fight Night is headlined by two respected light heavyweights who are desperate to secure the win needed to push them towards title contention.
Anthony Smith v Glover Teixeira will be shown live on BT Sport in the early hours of Thursday morning UK time and this promises to be one well worth setting your alarm for. Smith is hot favourite at Betfair but, as we saw here at the weekend, this sport is nothing if not unpredictable.
Smith was devastating last time
Texan Smith is the punters' pick to grab an important win and that will come as little surprise to followers of UFC. Lionheart brings a professional MMA record of 47 fights, 33 wins against 14 defeats. Of his victories, he has scored 17 by knockout and a dozen by submission. An all-action sort who loves entertaining fans.
Smith's form is patchy, having lost two of his last six, but he has beaten some high-ranking opponents and, on his day, deserves his place amongst the main contenders in the division. If he can beat Teixeira in Florida behind closed doors, he'll take a huge step towards fighting for the championship, possibly before the end of this year.
Anthony was seen beating Alexander Gustafsson by submission in Sweden last year, a bout he was expected to lose by some. Taking out his opponent in devastating fashion, Smith was awarded a performance of the night bonus. With confidence behind him, he trades at 8/131.61 on the Betfair Exchange in the fight winner market. Another submission appeals at 12/113.
Teixeira on a winning run
Opponent Teixeira will take much confidence from the upset results we saw in Florida at the weekend, including Justin Gaethje's surprise win over Tony Ferguson. With no fans in attendance it creates a strange atmosphere and helps level the playing field for the underdog. Holding concentration and following tactics is more important now than ever before.
At 40 years old, Glover knows this is likely to be his last chance at challenging for the UFC title. To have any hope of achieving that he must beat Smith and do it in impressive fashion. This is an all-or-nothing fight for the Brazilian. Teixeira goes in having won 30 of 37 previous bouts, 17 of those by way of knockout. He has lost two of his last six but has won each of his three most recent starts.
Teixeira completed a hattrick when following wins over Karl Roberson and Ion Cutelaba with a split decision points nod versus Nikita Krylov last September in Canada. A narrow win but one that breathed new life into his title hopes. The Betfair Exchange has Glover priced at 8/52.6 to win four on the bounce and that won't go unnoticed.
Lionheart to roar with KO
This appears to be an evenly matched contest between two fighters aware their careers are on the line. A win would spark one to life, defeat threatening the future of the other. Smith's win last time shouldn't be overlooked and if he can rediscover that form, he should claim the desired result in midweek, beating Teixeira.
Predicting how he'll achieve that gives us a crack at better odds. Two of Glover's last four have gone the distance and he'll want to ensure this is another tactical affair. This shouldn't end quickly but Smith's power and aggression should decide the day and the submission looks overpriced, worth a bet at interest stakes.
Smith by submission @ 12/113