Anthony Smith will face Khalil Rountree Jr. this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 233 as part of its co-main event fight card, in a light heavyweight battle that could provide both men with an opportunity to move up in their respective divisions.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, 35 years old and an experienced veteran in his own right, has already competed for the light heavyweight championship multiple times. A skilled striker equipped with various weapons, “Lionheart” has a chance of making this fight a back-and-forth affair; however, recently he’s been inconsistent and his last fight – a split decision win against Ryan Spann – didn’t really demonstrate what he could accomplish at such an elite level.
Some fans have started writing off Smith as an aging veteran who may soon retire, but with a victory against this young opponent he may yet have a shot at contending for the title again in future matches.
Khalil Rountree, once one of the Top 15 ranked competitors in his division, has established himself by finishing opponents with strikes. An elite athlete, he uses explosive leg kicks from a southpaw stance and hooks/straight lefts to hurt opponents before finishing them off with strikes himself. Though not great on defense, he’s managed to stop most damage done against him thus far.
At 6’4″ and with an impressive 76″ reach, 33-year-old War Horse stands as an enormous physical specimen for his division. Furthermore, he’s proven himself a prolific puncher – winning three UFC Performance of the Night bonuses during his short stint with UFC Promotions.
Rountree is an obvious contender to reach the top 10, and with two or three more victories could put himself into that elite group. But he faces a considerable uphill climb in this fight due to fighting on short notice against an experienced veteran who currently boasts four victories in a row.
Rountree could have no trouble striking Smith down early and could finish him off quickly with a heavy strike. On the other hand, Smith may be able to stop Rountree’s momentum instead, either way it promises to be an exciting fight this weekend at UFC Apex Las Vegas.
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Anthony Smith vs Khalil Rountree Jr. Fight Information
- Date: 12/09/2023
- Time: 11:50 PM ET
- Location: UFC APEX.
- How to Watch Smith vs Rountree Jr.: ESPN+
- Live Stream: BT Sport.com