Anthony Smith fights Jon "Bones" Jones for the light heavyweight championship of the world, in the main event of UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas. Tickets for this historic pay-per-view spectacular are on sale right here on AXS. In honor of this incredible title bout, here's a look back at Smith's top five best performances inside the Octagon:
5. Rashad Evans, June 2018
Some fans might say that Smith beat up a diminished Evans, who was at the tail end of his career. That may be true, but it's hard to discredit the Texas native, considering he finished with a devastating knockout via a knee strike. Finishing a former UFC world champion -- with an amazing, explosive knockout -- is no easy task. Smith deserves more credit for this performance.
4. "Shogun" Rua, July 2018
Much like the Evans fight, Smith took on a former UFC champion who was a bit past his prime and inching closer to the end of his career. However, there's no getting around the fact that Rua was the second former UFC champ that Smith handily defeated. Smith won by knockout in the first round of action, finishing with a barrage of elbows and punches.
3. Hector Lombard, September 2017
For whatever reason, Smith has feasted on aging legends. The UFC seems to match him up with guys in the twilight of their career. But you have to beat whoever is in front of you, right? Smith coasted past Lombard, taking him out via TKO in the third round of their fight in 2017 in Pittsburgh.
2. Volkan Oezdemir, October 2018
The Volkan fight was the one that turned Smith from rising prospect to legitimate title contender. Before this bout, Smith had been fighting mostly aging legends. Volkan was the first fight in a while that Smith had to challenge a star in his prime. The 30-year-old made it look easy, scoring a "Performance of the Night" bonus for finishing the former title challenger via rear-naked choke.
1. Leonardo Augusto Guimarães, February 2016
Smith's official UFC debut was a dandy, as he coasted to a unanimous decision over Guimarães. This victory put him on the radar as a top young star to watch at light heavyweight. In this fight, Smith used excellent lateral movement and world-class defense to score the win.