Anthony Smith Destroys Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua, Targets Alexander Gustafsson At UFC 227

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jul 24, 2018 07:41 AM EDT
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UFC light heavyweight Anthony Smith made his presence felt as he destroyed Mauricio "Shogun" Rua on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 134 in Germany.

Smith unleashed a vicious combination to score a knockout victory over Rua at the 1:29 mark of the first round. With the victory, Smith who is a former middleweight fighter improved to 30-13 win-loss in MMA and 6-3 UFC while Rua dropped to 25-11 in MMA and 9-9 in UFC.

The 36-year-old Rua was supposed to fight Volkan Oezdemir at the event but visa issues prevented the latter from competing in the card. Smith would then agree to step in as the opponent of Rua on short notice.

It also marked the second bout of Smith in the light heavyweight division. Smith scored a knockout win over Rashad Evans last June 9 in UFC 225 wherein he beat the latter in just 53 seconds. Smith said that the support of his training partners and his family played crucial roles in his recent success.

"I just believe in myself. I believe in my coaches and my support system. I've got three beautiful daughters and fiancée; they believe in me more than anything. That's what I think about when I come out here. I have to do this for them. This is not about me," Smith said during the post-match interview.

During the interview, Smith sent shockwaves when he announced that he wanted to fight light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson was supposed to go up against Oezdemir on Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles but an injury to latter left the former without an opponent. Agent Nima Safapour would then announce thereafter that Gustafsson won't be competing in UFC 227 due to a minor injury he suffered last week.

Rousing Debut For Azaitar

Moroccan middleweight fighter Abu Azaitar made a rousing debut after scoring a unanimous 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 decision win over Vitor Miranda. Azaitar improved to 14-1-1 while Miranda fell to 12-7. With the victory, the 32-year-old Azaitar is now currently riding a five-fight winning streak.

Meanwhile, light heavyweight warrior Corey Anderson also registered a unanimous decision victory over Glover Teixeira 30-27. Anderson who hails from Rockton, Illinois tallied eight takedowns in the fight.

Not to be outdone was Marcin Tybura of Poland who scored a decision victory over Stefan Struve. Tybura beat Struve 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.

The 32-year-old Tybura who recorded his fourth UFC win also ended a two-fight losing streak. On the other hand, the 30-year old Struve has lost three straight bouts after losing to Tybura, Alexander Volkov, and Andrei Arlovski.

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