Anthony Smith’s move to light heavyweight is going very well.
The 29-year-old scored his second quick knockout of a former champion in six weeks since moving up to 205 pounds as he needed just 88 seconds to knock out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 134 in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday.
Smith made his debut in the division with a 53-second knockout of Rashad Evans last month and followed it up by stopping another former champ with a crushing right elbow to finish Rua after connecting with several punches to stagger him.
“I just believe in myself and my coaches,” Smith said. “He pushed forward and was swinging big, he had big leg kicks like I said he was going to and I just caught him as he was coming in.”
He was hoping the win would earn him a chance to fill in for the injured Volkan Oezdemir against top contender Alexander Gustafsson in Los Angeles on the UFC 227 card in Los Angeles on Aug. 4, but it appears Gustafsson may also be injured and out of the event.
Still, Smith has a great deal of momentum in the division. So does Corey Anderson, who controlled Glover Teixeira for three rounds to win a unanimous decision Sunday for his second-consecutive win despite just accepting the fight earlier this month.
“Glover had been a top fighter for years and I just went in there and dominated on two weeks notice,” Anderson said. “Two weeks, two days, two minutes—it doesn’t matter. I came back and dominated Patrick Cummins and now I did what I did to Teixeira. This is all down to my team and my family, they made me what I am. Light heavyweight division, I’m coming for the top.”
The other four fights on the main card all went the distance. The most competitive was a welterweight bout that saw Danny Roberts get a split-decision nod over David Zawada despite one judge awarding Zawada all three rounds.
Middleweight Abu Azaitar controlled the action against Vitor Miranda and Marcin Tybura consistently took heavyweight Stefan Struve to the ground en route to victory.
Lightweight Nasrat Haqparast dominated Marc Diakiese to hand the striking specialist his third-consecutive loss after starting his career 12-0.