Smith To Serve As Backup For UFC 283

UFC Fight Night: Smith v Teixeira
Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently handpicked Jamahal Hill to battle Glover Teixeira for the vacant 205-pound title, thanks to a disappointing draw between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 earlier this month in Las Vegas, but that meant canceling the previously scheduled matchup between Hill and Anthony Smith.

Watch “Lionheart” get the disappointing news right here.

The consolation prize for Smith is a trip to the UFC 283 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he will weigh in and serve as backup for the Hill-Teixeira title fight. That may (or may not) make his current training camp a bit awkward considering he was recently enlisted to help Team Hill prepare for the Brazilian powerhouse.

“I’m going to fly to Brazil,” Smith told his ESPN co-analysts after UFC Vegas 66. “I’m going to weigh in at 205 pounds. I don’t suspect that these guys are gonna have problems, they’re both professionals, but if something does happen, I’ll be there to step in.”

The light heavyweight division was thrown into chaos when newly-crowned titleholder, Jiri Prochazka, blew out his shoulder and went under the knife, leading to a lengthy absence and the dissolution of his Teixeira rematch. What the division looks like upon his eventual return remains to be seen but it sounds like UFC is trying to cover all its bases.

Stay tuned.

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