Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Smith
|Date & Time||Saturday June 1, 2019, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Gustafsson -271 / Smith +229 -- Over/Under:
Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 153 at the Ericsson Globe.
Alexander Gustafsson enters this fight with a 18-5 record and has won 61 percent of his fights by knockout. Gustafsson has split his last eight fights and is coming off a December loss to Jon Jones. Gustafsson is averaging 4.01 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Gustafsson is averaging 1.63 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Gustafsson held his own against arguably the best fighter on the planet before being knocked out in the third round. Gustafsson hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time in his career while snagging his first win in over two years. There’s really no surprises with Gustafsson, as he’s a volume striker with a boxing background and lands 75 percent of his shots standing up. Gustafsson has solid footwork, puts his combinations together nicely and has produced 11 career knockouts. Gustafsson is still at his best on his feet, but he’s improved his wrestling over the years and is much more comfortable on the canvas than he was years ago. This will be Gustafsson’s eighth career fight in Sweden, his birthplace.
Anthony Smith enters this fight with a 31-14 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Smith has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a March loss to Jon Jones. Smith is averaging 3.19 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Smith is averaging 0.52 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 29 percent. Smith was dominated in his last fight, but he stood in there for five rounds and forced a decision and even survived an illegal knee in the fourth round. It was a fight that earned Smith a lot of respect, as there’s some who would have quit with all of the shots he ate. Smith certainly showed his toughness and proved he’s not the pushover some casual fans pegged his as heading into the bout. Besides his chin, Smith is an athetlic striker who is creative on his feet and has true one-punch knockout power. Smith is highly effective with his legs and knees, and he’s comfortable on the canvas where he has 11 career submission victories. However, Smith has just three career takedowns on the UFC level, as he’s focused a lot more on his standup striking. This will be Smith’s first career fight in Sweden.
If you’re looking for an old school brawl, this is probably the fight for you. These guys are likely going to spend majority of the fight standing up and trading strikes. You can make a case for Smith given his durability and the fact he has the stronger power in his hands. However, Gustafsson is the cleaner striker who puts his combinations together nicely, and he has better footwork and head movement. Gustafsson also has a three-inch reach advantage, which certainly has its perks in a standup fight. Smith is a little wild at times and could struggle with somebody who comes from a boxing background and a lot more fundamentally sound. While Smith may not get finished, Gustafsson is the better overall striker and should be able to produce a victory off points.
Fun fight with a lot of big shots, but Gustafsson should get the victory.