UFC Fight Night : Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Junior date, time, ticket, how to watchThere’s one more massive title unification match this weekend, and it’s within the light-weight heavyweight division.
At Madison sq. Garden’s Hulu Theater, corpuscle and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, seventeen KOs) takes on WBO champion and the big apple native Joe Smith Junior (28-3, 2} KOs) in an exceedingly battle of two knockout artists. The winner would be one belt keep of undisputed standing, with Dmitry Bivol still in possession of the WBA title when his spectacular convert Canelo Alvarez.
There’s not way more to mention after you have 2 aggressive power-punchers alveolate against one another. this may be fun, however can it's competitive? Let’s do a deep dive into however we tend to returned.
Tale of the Tape
Beterbiev: thirty seven years previous | 6’0” | 73” reach
Smith Jr: thirty two years previous | 6’0” | 76” reach
Beterbiev fought at each light-weight heavyweight associate degreed heavyweight as an amateur star. to present you an inspiration of however legit he was, he beat Sergey Kovalev within the 2007 European Championships semifinals. In each the globe Championships and therefore the 2012 Olympiad he had shut fights however ultimately losses to current unified heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk. He won a world medallion in 2009 and 2 at a eu level in 2006 and 2010. The Russian eventually enraptured to city — he’s since become sensible friends with Georges St-Pierre — and initiated his skilled career. not like several alternative execs, Beterbiev didn’t waste a great deal of your time with build-up fights. By his sixth professional bout he’d dismantled former champion Tavoris Cloud, and he captured the vacant IBF title in precisely his twelfth fight against Enrico Koelling.
Beterbiev did have a scare once he hit the canvas against Callum Johnson, however he scored a knockout win in precisely four rounds for his initial title defense. He outdueled and sent Oleksandr Gvozdyk into retirement with a tenth spherical stoppage in their WBC-IBF unification, and over the past 2 bouts Beterbiev has place away Adam Deines and Marcus Browne. sadly, promotional problems and injuries have compete a significant role in his lack of a systematically active schedule.
Smith Junior was for the foremost half a club-level fighter whose solely notable win was a pale Otis gryphon in 2014. 2 years later he was referred to as up for associate degree NBC primetime main event spot against former title rival Andrzej Fonfara, United Nations agency was an enormous favorite to win in what was a partisan crowd for the Polish fighter in Chicago. rather than a simple win, Fonfara was blasted come in a spherical in an exceedingly gorgeous upset. That monumental conclusion was presently followed by causing physiologist Hopkins into retirement by sound the 51-year-old out of the ring. His momentum was halted when dropping a call to Sullivan Barrera, however 2 fights later he challenged Dmitry Bivol and whereas he lost a good call to the Russian, he did shake him up with an enormous hand.
Since the Bivol loss, Smith was won four in an exceedingly row, as well as a vast blow of former champ Eleider Alvarez, a somewhat moot however toilsome call over Maxim Vlasov to win the vacant WBO belt, so a technical knockout over short notice replacement Steve Geffrard when Callum Johnson was yanked with a positive COVID-19 check.
Pick: Artur Beterbiev by technical knockout, Round 10.
What’s on the undercard?
There’s only 1 undercard fight on the most card however it’s a extremely sensible one. Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez (9-1, five KOs) takes on Puerto Rican-born Ibrahim star (21-0, fifteen KOs) in associate degree intriguing featherweight pairing. Ramirez could be a cheat on Olympic gold medalist and (obviously) had an exceptional amateur record, however he had a black professional debut and lost by decision to Adan Gonzales in 2019. He’s won 9 straight since then as well as avenging the Gonzales defeat, also as a call over the antecedently unvanquished city Gonzalez and a technical knockout of Eric Donovan in port this past February.
Nova is another one with an honest amateur background (albeit while not the accolades of Ramirez) who’s worked his high the ranks. star has notably crushed Avery Sparrow and William Encarnación in recent years. Ramirez is that the rightful favorite given his terrific overall boxing ability, however star may be a live dog here. Winner isn’t extremely poised for a title shot next however they’d be in with a shout over ensuing year.
The live streamed prelims can feature a great deal of prospects, as well as Bruce Carrington, Troy Isley, Jahi Tucker, and Floyd Bartholomeu Diaz. There’s typically a great deal of fun action there and it helps separate A-grade prospects from everybody else.
Beterbiev vs. Smith Junior on ESPN and ESPN+ at ten PM ET/7 PM platinum, with prelims on ESPN+ at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM platinum. we'll have play by play coverage of the most event.