“One of the saddest sights in boxing is to watch a young man beat up an old one – and the great majority of the time, when the two meet, that’s what occurs.” — Thomas Hauser, The Black Lights (1986)
As Mauricio Rua made the walk for his main event stint at UFC Hamburg over the weekend, his opponent Anthony Smith, who entered the arena first, was pacing. Like a caged animal, he strode his massive frame back and forth across his corner, a scowl etched deeply onto his face. For a brief second, as “Shogun” finally entered the Octagon, “Lionheart” smiled.
A few minutes later, Shogun’s eyes would be closed, a legend of an earlier generation pinned standing against the cage even after he’d been rendered unconscious by a murderous elbow. He plummeted to the canvas; Smith raised his hand in victory. No longer a journeyman roaming the Midwest’s regional circuit as he was for the better part of a decade, Smith surveyed his surroundings as the newest name in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s contender-starved light heavyweight division.
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