- What: UFC on ESPN+ 83
- Who: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2
- Date: Saturday, August 26, 2023
- Location: Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore
- Time: Prelims (5:00 a.m. ET) Main Card (8:00 a.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN+
Saturday’s UFC Singapore fight card is the rare early morning card. The event, UFC on ESPN+ 83, which has a main card start time of 8 a.m. ET is headlined by a matchup between former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and two-time UFC 145-pound title challenger Chang Sung Jung, also known as The Korean Zombie. Before that scrap, two light heavyweights ranked inside the top 10, Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann, meet in the co-main event. Here is some background on the Smith vs. Spann rematch before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC Singapore / UFC on ESPN+ 83 fight card.
Anthony Smith (36-18) is No. 8 in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings. The former 205-pound title challenger is 0-2 in his past two outings. His most recent win was a September 2021 submission victory over Spann.
Ryan Spann (21-8) is ranked No. 10 in the UFC’s 205-pound division. He bounced back from the submission defeat to Smith with two stoppage wins, but Spann is coming off a March submission defeat to Nikita Krylov.
UFC on ESPN+ 83 co-main event: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2 betting picks
|To Win UFC Singapore Co-Main Event|
UFC on ESPN+ 83 co-main event: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2 betting breakdown
In the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC Singapore event, we have two fighters at different points in their careers. Smith, a former UFC title challenger, is 35 and 3-4 dating back to May 2020. He is 0-2 in his past two bouts. Spann is 31 and 4-3 since May 2020. He is 2-1 in his past three fights with two stoppage wins. Smith’s confidence is shaky, and following his recent loss to Johnny Walker in May, he provided a blueprint for Spann and any future foe, “There is a glaring hole in my game, and it’s no longer a hole. It’s the leg kicks become a liability at this point. It’s not even a hole in my game anymore. It’s a liability.”
Meanwhile, Spann, who has been chiefly known for his grappling skills, has turned into a potent and confident striker, employing a powerful and damaging jab that he can use to score points on its own or set up his takedowns and submissions attempts. And while Spann is not known for his leg kicks, he works with a smart coaching staff at Fortis MMA, who will undoubtedly have him ready to exploit Smith’s weakness to get in his head early in the light heavyweight matchup.
Knowing that Smith is an excellent grappler and Spann’s two most recent defeats have both come via submission, expect Spann to work behind his jabs and leg kicks in the hope of frustrating and breaking Smith down.
UFC on ESPN+ 83 co-main event: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2 statistical breakdown
Smith and Spann are two of the taller UFC light heavyweight competitors, checking in at 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 respectively. Despite their similar height, Spann has a three-inch reach advantage, which will come into play when he employs his powerful jab. Spann is a more active striker with better defensive striking numbers than Smith. He also has better grappling stats than the former UFC light heavyweight championship challenger, but don’t expect Spann to take the fight to the ground.
Best Bets for UFC on ESPN+ 83 co-main event: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann 2
A lot has changed in the two years since these two first met, and that’s reflected in the betting odds. In their first meeting, Spann was the betting underdog at +135, while the betting favorite, Smith, checked in at -160. With his win over Spann, Smith was on a three-fight winning streak. Now, with his confidence at a low ebb, Smith is the betting underdog to the favored Spann, who seems poised to launch himself up the UFC light heavyweight rankings with a win over Smith.
I don’t think Smith will quit in this fight, but allowing doubt to creep into his mindset is never a good sign for a fighter, especially one who might be heading toward the end of his career. Spann is the betting pick to win, and with his penchant for early finishes, I would not be surprised to see him score a knockout victory over Smith.
Best UFC on ESPN+ 83 co-main event betting pick: Ryan Spann to beat Anthony Smith via knockout.
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