UFC Press Release
Las Vegas – UFC® returns to UFC APEX with an exciting matchup in the light heavyweight division, as No. 6 ranked contender Anthony Smith faces off with No. 11 Ryan Spann. In the co-main event, fellow 205ers Ion Cutelaba and Devin Clark aim to steal the show.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: SMITH vs SPANN will take place Saturday, September 18 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will stream on ESPN+, with the prelims beginning at 1 p.m. PT/ 4 p.m. ET and the main card at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET.
Former light heavyweight title challenger Smith (35-16, fighting out of Omaha, Neb.) boasts an impressive 94 percent finishing rate and plans to take out Spann in classic fashion. Smith is currently undefeated in 2021, having secured two first-round finishes over Jimmy Crute and Devin Clark. He now has his sights set on continuing his streak and defending his spot in the top 10 of the division.
Spann (21-6, fighting out of Beaumont, Texas) intends to deliver his best performance yet in his first UFC main event effort. A signee from season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series, Spann quickly rose through the light heavyweight ranks with notable victories over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Sam Alvey and, most recently, Misha Cirkunov. He now looks to notch the most important win of his career by defeating Smith.
Always entertaining Cutelaba (15-6-1, fighting out of Chisinau, Moldova) seeks to get back to his winning ways and re-assert himself as a future title contender. The owner of 13 first-round finishes, including 10 in 1:13 or less, Cutelaba established himself as one of the most dangerous strikers in the light heavyweight division with wins over Khalil Rountree, Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Luis Henrique da Silva. He now aims to prove that he still has his best performances ahead of him by finishing Clark.
Clark (12-5, fighting out of Sioux Falls, S.D.) looks to make his first fight of 2021 a successful one by earning his first UFC stoppage. The 2009 NJCAA wrestling champion, he has displayed his skills with wins over Alonzo Menifield, Darko Stosic and Mike Rodriguez. Clark now plans to show that he can compete with the elite with a dominant performance against Cutelaba.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- UFC legend Jim Miller (32-16, 1 NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) returns to the Octagon for a record-breaking 38th time when he looks to spoil the UFC debut of Dana White’s Contender Series signee Nikolas Motta (12-3, fighting out of Governador Valadares, Brazil) in a lightweight bout
- An exciting women’s flyweight bout sees Ariane Lipski (13-7, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil) aim to hand Mandy Bohm (7-0, fighting out of Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany) her first loss
- No. 14 ranked lightweight contender Arman Tsarukyan (16-2, fighting out of Krasnodar Krai, Russia) plans to show off his grappling skills against Christos Giagos (19-8, fighting out of Hawthorne, Calif.)
- Middleweight finishers lock horns as Joaquin Buckley (12-4, fighting out of St. Louis, Mo.) meets Antonio Arroyo (9-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M. by way of Nazare, Para, Brazil)
- Light heavyweight Dana White’s Contender Series alums Mike Rodriguez (11-6, 1 NC, fighting out of South Easton, Mass.) and Tafon Nchukwi (5-1, fighting out of Temple Hills, Md.) vie to secure another highlight reel knockout
- No. 12 ranked women’s bantamweight contender Pannie Kianzad (16-5, fighting out of Helsingborg, Skåne County, Sweden) aims to defend her spot in the rankings against former title challenger Raquel Pennington (11-9, fighting out of Colorado Springs, Colo.)
- Top bantamweight prospects Nate Maness (13-1, fighting out of Henderson, Ky.) and Tony Gravely (21-6, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) collide
- Lightweights Dakota Bush (8-3, fighting out of St. Claire, Mo.) and Rongzhu (17-4, fighting out of Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China) compete to earn their first UFC victories
- Dana White’s Contender Series veterans compete as Montel Jackson (11-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) takes on JP Buys (9-3, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif. by way of Johannesburg, South Africa) at bantamweight
- Erin Blanchfield (6-1, fighting out of Elmwood Park, N.J.) hopes for a successful UFC debut when she battles Sarah Alpar (9-5, fighting out of Oklahoma City, Okla.) in a women’s flyweight bout
- Impa Kasanganay (9-1, fighting out of Charlotte, N.C.) and Carlston Harris (16-4, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) meet in a welterweight bout
- Bantamweights Gustavo Lopez (12-6, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) and Alatengheili (14-8, 1 NC, fighting out of Shanghai, China) clash in a high-paced matchup
- Emily Whitmire (4-4, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) hopes to secure another signature submission against Hannah Goldy (5-2, fighting out of Orlando, Fla.)