Fighting since 2008, Anthony Smith has been to all parts of the MMA world.
Now, “Lionheart” gets his shot at the big time when he headlines UFC Fight Night 134 vs. former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Saturday from Germany.
The event takes place from Hamburg and the Barclaycard Arena, airing live on FOX Sports 1.
Smith stepped in for top challenger Volkan Oezdemir to face Rua in the five-round fight at light heavyweight recently when officials pulled Oezdemir to take on Alexander Gustafsson.
While the Factory X fighter might not carry the same ranking as Oezdemir, he definitely brings the same kind of power to the Octagon.
In his last fight, Smith scored his 29th career win and 15th knockout when he landed a knee on ex-UFC champion Rashad Evans at UFC 225. That finish came in just 53 seconds, and was the fourth win over the last five fights for the current Omaha-native.
Since returning to the UFC in 2016, Smith has gone 5-2 with wins over Evans, Hector Lombard, Andrew Sanchez, Elvis Mutapcic and Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes. His losses came to Cezar Ferreira via decision and Thiago Santos by TKO.
From 2014-16, he went 8-0 with two wins inside the Bellator MMA cage, victories for CFFC, RFA and Victory Fighting Championship.
For Lionheart, this is his time to shine. He’s moved up from middleweight and as he approaches 30 years old this month, this should be his new home.