UFC on ESPN 18: Smith vs. Clark Preview

After a positive COVID-19 test took Curtis Blaydes out of his main event fight on Saturday against Derek Lewis, Anthony Smith and Devin Clark were promoted to the headlining status of UFC’s television event.

The light heavyweights will fight for five rounds on UFC’s card on Saturday night from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Here’s a preview of the show.

Click here for a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Nate Maness (12-1) vs. Luke Sanders (13-3) (Catchweight 140 lbs)

A 140-pound catchweight fight will kick off the four-fight preliminary card, as Nate Maness will fight Luke Sanders.

Through six fights in the UFC, Sanders has an even record of three wins and three losses. His last win was in February of 2019, where he stopped Renan Barao in the second round.

Maness won his UFC debut in August, defeating Johnny Munoz Jr. via decision. The loss for Munoz Jr. was his first as a pro.

Bout 2: Su Mudaerji (12-4) vs. Malcolm Gordon (12-4) (Flyweight)

Returning after his first UFC win, Su Mudaerji will fight Malcolm Gordon on the preliminary card. Mudaerji earned his first win within the UFC in August of 2019, defeating Andre Soukhamthath. His previous fight, his first within the UFC, was a loss to Louis Smolka.

Gordon, a former TKO Flyweight Champion, made his UFC debut in July by losing to Amir Albazi in the first round via triangle choke. He took the fight on short notice, replacing Tagir Ulanbekov in a bout against Aleksander Doskalchuk. He was paired with Albazi after Doskalchuk withdrew from the fight as well.

Bout 3: Rachael Ostovich (4-5) vs. Gina Mazany (6-4) (Flyweight)

After a eight-months of USADA suspension, Rachael Ostovich looks to even her pro record against Gina Mazany on the prelims. Ostovich last competed in January of 2019, where she lost in the second round via armbar to Paige VanZant. Ostovich served a USADA suspension in January after testing positive “for ostarine and GW1516.”

Mazany lost her UFC return in June, being stopped in only 22 seconds by Julia Avila. Her combined two UFC runs put together give her a promotional record of one win and four losses.

Bout 4: Martin Day (8-4) vs. Anderson dos Santos (20-8) (Bantamweight)

Martin Day and Anderson dos Santos will both look for their first UFC win when competing on the prelims. Day returned to action in July, losing in the third round to Davey Grant at UFC 251. His previous UFC fight was a loss in 2018 to Liu Pingyuan.

Dos Santos has lost two-straight in the UFC as well. His fights were decision losses to Nad Narimani and Andre Ewell.

Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN / TSN 5)

Bout 5: Kai Kamaka III (8-2) vs. Jonathan Pearce (9-4) (Featherweight)

After a strong UFC debut in August, Kai Kamaka III returns on the main card against Jonathan Pearce. Having previously fought in Bellator and LFA notably, Kamaka III entered the UFC on a five-fight win streak. He won his UFC debut at UFC 252, defeating Tony Kelley via decision on the prelims in a fight which was later awarded “Fight of the Night.” He now looks for his seventh-consecutive win on Saturday.

Pearce lost his UFC debut in October of 2019, being finished in the second minute of action by Joe Lauzon. He previously had a five-fight win streak which included a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” which was how he was offered a UFC contract.

Bout 6: Ashlee Evans-Smith (6-4) vs. Norma Dumont (4-1) (Bantamweight)

Making the move down to bantamweight on Saturday, Norma Dumont will fight Ashlee Evans-Smith. Moving down from featherweight has proven troublesome for Dumont even before her first fight, as she missed weight on Friday, coming in three-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit, per MMA Fighting.

Dumont lost her UFC debut in February, being stopped in the first round by Megan Anderson. She had previously picked up four wins on the regional scene.

The fight will be Smith’s return to action. Her last fight was in February of 2019, where she dropped a decision to Andrea Lee.

Bout 7: Bill Algeo (13-5) vs. Spike Carlyle (9-2) (Featherweight)

Both coming off of their first UFC loss, Bill Algeo will fight Spike Carlyle on the main card. Algeo, a former Ring of Combat Featherweight Champion, lost his UFC debut in August on the scorecards against Ricardo Lamas. While the fight was a loss for Algeo, his fight was awarded “Fight of the Night.” He had competed earlier in the month, defeating Tim Dooling on a CFFC card.

Carlyle lost in his last fight, dropping a decision to Billy Quarantillo. His previous fight, his UFC debut, saw him stop Aalon Cruz in the second minute with strikes.

Bout 8: Josh Parisian (13-3) vs. Parker Porter (10-6) (Heavyweight)

After a victory on “Dana White’s Contender Series” in August, Josh Parisian will make his UFC debut on the main card against Parker Porter. Parisian added to his win streak in the summer, stopping Chad Johnson in the first round with ground and pound. The win was his sixth-straight within the past two years.

Porter lost his UFC debut in August, being stopped late in the first round with strikes by Chris Daukaus. He had previously competed in notable promotions like CES and Bellator.

Bout 9: Miguel Baeza (9-0) vs. Takashi Sato (16-3) (Welterweight)

Undefeated Miguel Baeza will look for his third UFC win when he faces former Pancrase fighter Takashi Sato in the co-main event.

Baeza earned a UFC contract in 2019, defeating Victor Reyna on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Baeza had a strong rookie year in the UFC, stopping both Hector Aldana and Matt Brown in fights.

Now three fights into his UFC run, Sato has a promotional record of two wins and one loss. He returned to the win column in June, defeating short-notice opponent Jason Witt within a minute with strikes.

Bout 10: Anthony Smith (33-16) vs. Devin Clark (12-4) (Light Heavyweight)

In a fight that was only supposed to serve as the co-main event before, Anthony Smith and Devin Clark will compete in a five-round fight on Saturday’s main card. The fight was bumped up by two rounds shortly after the original main event was cancelled.

Smith has been in the main event for his last six fights. He has been on a losing streak in 2020, losing one-sided performances against Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.

Clark enters Saturday’s main event with two-straight victories in the year. His previous wins, both decisions, came against Dequan Townsend and Alonzo Menifield. Saturday will be his first five-round fight since he fought for RFA in 2016.

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