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Smith vs Rakic: Fight Night Odds & Expert Picks

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic Betting Odds

The light heavyweight division has been in the spotlight recently with the announcement of champion Jon Jones relinquishing his title and moving up to heavyweight. This weekend at the UFC Apex Performance Center the light heavyweights will be on the marquee of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic as Anthony Smith takes on Aleksandar Rakic on Saturday, August 29.

We most recently saw Smith compete in mid-May when he suffered a lopsided fifth-round knockout loss to Glover Teixeira. Prior to that loss, “Lionheart” had won four of five fights, all by finishes, with the lone defeat over that span coming to Jones for the title in March 2019.

It has been a slightly longer layoff for Rakic, who was last seen in the cage in December 2019 when he suffered a controversial split-decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir. That defeat was the first for “Rocket” since he lost his pro debut back in 2011, effectively ending his 12-fight winning streak that had 10 finishes.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released the betting lines for UFC on ESPN+ 33 and in the main event, former title challenger Smith is a +210 underdog with Rakic coming back as a sizable -270 favorite. That means you would have to wager $270 to profit $100 on a Rakic win, while a $100 wager on Smith would see you profit $210. You can find out your potential winnings by using our sports betting calculator.

Check out my UFC betting predictions, odds and analysis for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic.

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Smith vs Rakic | Lawler vs Magny | Grasso vs Kim | Ankalaev vs Cutelaba | Prelims


UFC on ESPN+ 33: Broadcast Information
  • Date/Time: August 29, 5 p.m. ET
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Arena: UFC Apex Performance Center
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic

Anthony Smith vs Aleksandar Rakic Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Anthony Smith+210
Aleksandar Rakic-270

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Both guys are looking to return to the win column, though their losses came in dramatically different fashion. Smith (+210) had a strong first round but quickly went downhill afterward, getting his teeth knocked out and eventually taking the knockout loss in the fifth. Rakic (-270) on the other hand outstruck his opponent, had a higher striking percentage and landed takedowns but learned a valuable lesson to not leave fights in the judges’ hands as he lost a questionable split decision.


Smith: Need to Knows
  • Smith is known for putting on an entertaining fight. Of his 13 UFC bouts, only three have gone to the judges’ scorecards, and all eight of his wins over that span have been finishes.
  • Lionheart is a creative striker in the sense that he doesn’t rely solely on punches and kicks; he mixes in solid elbows and knees, especially in the clinch. He does have a tendency to get hit, though, absorbing 4.57 significant strikes per minute while landing 3.19.
  • He is an aggressive fighter, constantly moving forward and throwing combinations when in range. Lionheart can be a little hesitant in the pocket watching his opponent and then he will explode forward with wild power strikes. That said, he had a much higher output in his last fight, which led to him gassing out.
  • Smith’s last three fights were Jon Jones (loss – unanimous decision), Alexander Gustafsson (win – submission) and Glover Teixeira (loss – knockout).


Rakic: Need to Knows
  • Rakic got signed to the UFC in 2017 as he was riding an eight-fight winning streak, all by finishes. He continued his winning ways with four in a row in the UFC prior to his contentious loss to Oezdemir.
  • Rocket is a high-tempo fighter who likes to hit but not get hit. He averages 5.17 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.41. As well, he lands 52 percent of his strikes and makes his foes miss 53 percent of theirs.
  • He has big power and storms at his opponents from the outset of the bout looking to get out of the cage quickly. He has fantastic head movement and throws great kicks and strong long punches like his lead uppercut.
  • Rakic’s last three fights were Devin Clark (win – knockout), Jimi Manuwa (win – knockout) and Volkan Oezdemir (loss – split decision).

Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic (-270) via knockout

Robbie Lawler vs Neil Magny

Robbie Lawler vs Neil Magny Betting Odds
Fighter Odds
Robbie Lawler+200
Neil Magny-260

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

For the first time in his storied career, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (+200) is on a three-fight losing slide, a far cry from being the champion four years ago. Conversely, Neil “The Haitian Sensation” Magny (-260) has returned from a near two-year layoff to score two unanimous-decision victories in 2020.


Lawler: Need to Knows
  • The former champion held a five-fight winning streak from 2014 to 2016 but has dropped four of his last five and hasn’t been in action in over a year.
  • Lawler is a brawler, looking to get in a phone booth-style fight. Of his 28 pro wins, 20 have been by knockout while only three of his 14 losses came in the same manner. However, he has been outstruck in six of his last seven bouts.
  • Ruthless has looked a little gun-shy recently, really loading up for counter-strikes, but his opponents have done a good job hitting him and moving away or smothering him with grappling. He really has to close the distance before he throws his hands, which are typically short, powerful hooks.
  • Lawler’s last three fights were Rafael dos Anjos (loss – unanimous decision), Ben Askren (loss – submission) and Colby Covington (loss – unanimous decision).


Magny: Need to Knows
  • Magny is making his 23rd walk to the Octagon and over that span has seen many winning streaks that have been interrupted by single losses en route to a 16-6 record in the UFC.
  • The Haitian Sensation is long with his incredible 80-inch reach enabling him to land while keeping his opponents at bay. He averages 3.95 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.17 and he makes his opponents miss 57 percent of their strikes.
  • He also averages 2.55 takedowns per 15 minutes. He is very good at maintaining distance with his great footwork, though if his foe is able to get inside, Magny will tie him up and either look to take the fight to the floor or separate to create distance again. When he feels comfortable, he sets an aggressive pace that makes his counterpart wilt.
  • Magny’s last three fights were Santiago Ponzinibbio (loss – knockout), Li Jingliang (win – unanimous decision) and Anthony Rocco Martin (win – unanimous decision).

Prediction: Neil Magny (-260) via decision

Alexa Grasso vs Ji Yeon Kim

Alexa Grasso vs Ji Yeon Kim Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Alexa Grasso-305
Ji Yeon Kim+235

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Since joining the UFC without a loss on her record, Ji Yeon “Fire Fist” Kim (+235) has dropped two of her five fights in the Octagon. A similar story can be written about her counterpart, Alexa Grasso (-305), who was a perfect 8-0 outside the UFC but has been on a win-one, lose-one streak over her six bouts in the organization.


Grasso: Need to Knows
  • The Italian is an aggressive fighter, averaging 5.25 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.61. Additionally, she makes her opponents miss 63 percent of their strikes. Stuffing takedowns has been her downfall, having been brought down 12 times in her UFC career.
  • Grasso does a great job throwing fast, straight punches when her opponents enter her striking range. When she doesn’t have to worry about a takedown, such as during her fight vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz, she constantly throws strikes, is very light on her feet and mixes things up very well.
  • Grasso’s last three fights were Tatiana Suarez (loss – submission), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (win – unanimous decision) and Carla Esparza (loss – majority decision).


Kim: Need to Knows
  • The South Korean is coming off her first finish in the UFC, a last-second knockout at the end of the second round. Her 72-inch reach makes her a tough striker to stand with and she has really good accuracy.
  • Fire Fist is pretty slow and deliberate with her punches and at times will be a little off-balance, almost reaching to hit her foes. Although she wants to keep the fight standing, with no takedowns in the UFC, she has a bad tendency to follow her opponents rather than cutting the cage off.
  • Kim’s last three fights were Melinda Fabian (win – split decision), Antonina Shevchenko (loss – unanimous decision) and Nadia Kassem (win – knockout).

Prediction: Alexa Grasso (-305) via decision

Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba

Magomed Ankalaev vs Ion Cutelaba Betting Odds
Fighter Odds
Magomed Ankalaev-315
Ion Cutelaba+245

Odds as of August 29 at BetOnline

The third or fourth time is a charm for Magomed Ankalaev (-315) and Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba (+245). These two fought at UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs Figueiredo in February in a bout that ended in controversy.

Was Cutelaba wobbled and hurt? Or was it a little showmanship to drag Ankalaev into a firefight? This fight was rebooked for UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje but was pushed back to UFC 252 when Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19, so hopefully now we get a resolution to this feud.


Ankalaev: Need to Knows
  • Ankalaev enters this fight on a four-fight winning streak, including three knockout wins. Outside of a last-second mistake against Paul Craig that led to a submission, he would be undefeated.
  • The Russia native has outstanding striking. He has outstruck all five of his opponents in the UFC, averaging 3.46 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 1.24. He lands 56 percent of his strikes and makes his foes miss 67 percent of theirs.
  • He is extremely light on his feet and he does a good job pressuring his opponents, always feinting and trying to learn their movements before going on the attack. He does tend to reach out at his foes when they engage with him, which leaves him open to overhand strikes.
  • Ankalaev’s last three fights were Klidson Abreu (win – unanimous decision), Dalch Lungiambula (win – knockout) and Ion Cutelaba (win – knockout).


Cutelaba: Need to Knows
  • Don’t expect a Cutelaba fight to reach the judges’ scorecards – 18 of his 20 pro fights have ended in stoppages and 15 of those saw his hand raised with 12 knockouts, two submissions and one decision.
  • The Moldova native known as the Hulk is violence personified, averaging 5.29 significant strikes per minute and 2.26 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • He is very aggressive, constantly throwing powerful strikes at his opponents, and he mixes them very well with kicks, knees and punches. With this output, though, his conditioning is an issue and he slows significantly after about three minutes of all-out aggression.
  • Cutelaba’s last three fights were Glover Teixeira (loss – submission), Khalil Rountree (win – knockout) and Magomed Ankalaev (loss – knockout).

Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev (-315) via knockout

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic Prelim Betting Odds

Maki Pitolo vs Impa Kasanganay Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Maki Pitolo+120
Impa Kasanganay-150

Odds as of August 29 at BetOnline

Mallory Martin vs Hannah Cifers Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Mallory Martin-315
Hannah Cifers+245

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Alessio Di Chirico vs Zak Cummings Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Alessio Di Chirico-105
Zak Cummings-125

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Alex Caceres vs Austin Springer Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Alex Caceres-235
Austin Springer+185

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Polyana Viana vs Emily Whitmire Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Polyana Viana+110
Emily Whitmire-140

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Sean Brady vs Christian Aguilera Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Sean Brady-450
Christian Aguilera+325

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada

Ricardo Lamas vs Bill Algeo Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Ricardo Lamas-305
Bill Algeo+235

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada