Resilience Personified

Five wins, five losses. That was Anthony Smith’s record in 2010 after spending two years and 10 fights roaming the Midwest’s regional MMA circuit. “Lionheart” finished four out of five of his foes and was in turn was stopped in all five of his losses. All but one of these bouts ended inside two rounds.

Smith started his professional career in a most unpropitious manner, an action fighter whose fights resembled a symphony of violence reliably bookended with a knockout or submission. It took him six years and 30 fights to finally make it to the final bell — a unanimous decision victory over Brian Green at Bellator 129 — and almost a decade to put consecutive victories together under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner. However, since 2016, the 30-year-old has gone 7-2 in the world’s largest MMA promotion and is riding a three-fight winning streak straight to the top of the light heavyweight division. After his performance on Saturday in the UFC Fight Night 138 main event, he stands on the precipice of getting a shot at one of the most coveted prizes in all of combat sports.

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