UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakić

[LIVEᴴᴰ] UFC Fight Night 175 – Watch Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic Live Streaming

[LIVEᴴᴰ] UFC Fight Night 175 – Watch Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic Live Streaming

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakić (also known as UFC Fight Night 175, UFC on ESPN+ 33 and UFC Vegas 8) is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on August 29, 2020 at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

 

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Promotion officials were originally targeting a featherweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America featherweight winner Yair Rodríguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov to serve as the event headliner. However, Rodríguez pulled out of the bout on August 5 with an ankle injury and Magomedsharipov announced he will not fight on the event as well. The pairing was first scheduled to take place at UFC 228 in September 2018, but Rodríguez also pulled out of that event with an injury. The pairing is now expected to be rescheduled for UFC 254.

On August 15, it was announced that a light heavyweight bout between former UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakić is expected to serve as a three-round main event.

Emily Whitmire was scheduled to face Polyana Viana in a women’s strawweight bout at UFC 248 earlier this year. However, Whitmire weighed in at 117.5 pounds, one and a half pounds over the strawweight non-title fight limit. She was subsequently hospitalized the day of the event, thus cancelling the fight. The pairing has been rescheduled for this event instead, in a women’s flyweight bout.

A featherweight bout between former UFC Featherweight Championship challenger Ricardo Lamas and The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber lightweight winner Ryan Hall was also scheduled to initially take place earlier this year at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Weidman, but the event was cancelled in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pairing was rescheduled for this event. In turn, Hall pulled out due to undisclosed reasons a week before the event. He was replaced by promotional newcomer Bill Algeo.

A welterweight bout between Neil Magny and Geoff Neal was scheduled to take place at this event. However, Neal withdrew from the event on August 9 due to a severe case of pneumonia that evolved to sepsis. He was replaced by former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler.

A light heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cuțelaba is expected to take place at this event. The pairing first met at UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo, where Ankalaev won via controversial knockout. The bout was originally expected to take place at UFC 249, on its original April 18 date. However, Ankalaev was forced to pull out of the event due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were later rebooked for UFC 252, but Cuțelaba then pulled out after testing positive for COVID-19 and the bout was rescheduled for this event.

A featherweight bout between Alex Caceres and Giga Chikadze was initially scheduled to take place three weeks earlier at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik, but was pushed back to this event due to undisclosed reasons. In turn, Chikadze withdrew from the bout on August 26 due to tested positive for Covid-19 and was briefly replaced by promotional newcomer Kevin Croom. Subsequently on the following day, Croom was removed and replaced by fellow newcomer Austin Springer.

A welterweight bout between Maki Pitolo and promotional newcomer Impa Kasanganay was briefly linked to UFC on ESPN: Munhoz vs. Edgar a week earlier. However, promotion officials elected to move the pairing a week later to this event.

A middleweight bout between Saparbek Safarov and Julian Marquez was scheduled for this event. However, the bout was moved to UFC Fight Night 184 in November after Safarov faced travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the weigh-ins, Hannah Cifers and Austin Springer missed weight for their respective bouts. Cifers weighed in at 117 pounds, one pound over the strawweight non-title fight limit. Springer weighed in at 151 pounds, five pounds over the featherweight non-title fight limit. Both of their bouts are expected to proceed at catchweight and they were each fined 20% and 30% of their individual purses respectively, which will go to their opponents Mallory Martin and Alex Caceres.

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