Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann

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The Apex again hosts this week’s UFC Vegas 37 event, with 15 bouts featuring fighters from 10 countries. Name recognition for the production is somewhat lacking outside the main event, but make no mistake that this card has several barnburners.

Two weeks ago, our parlay with Modestas Bukauskas as a slight favorite was decimated when he walked into a leg kick from Khalil Rountree Jr. and was incapacitated and unable to finish. Insight the Octagon profitability for the year therefore stands at 21-17 + 6.88u.

Anthony Smith (-165) vs. Ryan Spann (+ 145)

Light-heavyweight (205 pounds), main event

Spann, 30, is the 11th-ranked light-heavyweight in the division. He stands 6-feet-5 and sports an 81.5-inch reach, both of which contribute to his fundamental strength, which is aggressive forward pressure striking and kicking.

Spann won four of his last five bouts, but against competition that in many ways pales in comparison with that of his opponent. A blue belt in BJJ, Spann has one way to win — by walking opponents down, backing them up and then barraging them with elbows, knees, fists and kicks.

Spann is extremely athletic and unusually long for the division. While he shows several submissions on his record, those occurred in matchups when the competition was not at a UFC level, save for a bout in 2019 against Devin Clark.

Spann will immediately force the fight and try to press Smith backward using pressure, aggression and frantic striking, for he is aware that if he can back up Smith, he can use his full arsenal of strikes and kicks. Spann must keep this fight standing and at distance to hold the advantage.

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