UFC Fight Night 192 finished with some fireworks as Anthony Smith put away Ryan Spann with a first-round submission from the UFC's Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Although Smith ultimately won by submission, it was his striking that made the difference early. Spann was trying to muscle Smith with his grappling. Spann picked up Lionheart and walked him across the Octagon, but once the veteran got some daylight, he landed a flush left hook that floored his opponent.
With Superman rocked, Smith went to work on the ground, where he was able to lock in the rear-naked choke and force the tap.
After the bout, it got a little heated as Smith had some words for Spann. Once they had a chance to cool down, the two fighters embraced and appeared to squash whatever the beef was about.
The win gives Smith three consecutive in the Octagon, including two submission wins. He continues to be a tough hurdle for prospects to clear but could get a fighter who is actually ahead of him in his next fight as he called out Aleksandar Rakic after the bout.
It was a thrilling conclusion to a fun night of fights that saw plenty of finishes on the main card.
- Anthony Smith def. Ryan Spann via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) (3:47)
- Ion Cutelaba def. Devin Clark via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-26, 29-27)
- Ariane Lipski def. Mandy Bohm via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Arman Tsarukyan def. Christos Giagos via first-round TKO (2:09)
- Nate Maness def. Tony Gravely via second-round TKO (2:10)
- Joaquin Buckley def. Antonio Arroyo via third-round TKO (2:26)
- Tafon Nchukwi def. Mike Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Raquel Pennington def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Rongzhu def. Brandon Jenkins via third-round TKO (4:35)
- Montel Jackson def. JP Buys via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Erin Blanchfield def. Sarah Alpar via unanimous decision (30-25 x2, 30-26)
- Carlston Harris def. Impa Kasanganay via first-round TKO (2:38)
- Gustavo Lopez vs. Heili Alateng is a unanimous draw (28-28 x3)
- Hannah Goldy def. Emily Whitmire via first-round submission (armbar) (4:17)
Ion Cutelaba def. Devin Clark
The light heavyweight co-main event between Ion Cutelaba and Devin Clark could be summed up in two words: Hulk smash.
Cutelaba lived up to his Marvel moniker with a convincing three-round beatdown of Clark to claim the fight on all three scorecards. The aggressive 205-pounder is usually known for his all-out striking approach, but he showcased diverse skills in this one.
He took an early lead with his striking, scoring a knockdown in the first round, but he followed it up with plenty of ground-and-pound.
Ultimately, he landed eight takedowns as he controlled the vast majority of the fight. He couldn't draw the finish, but that actually shows some growth. It was just his second decision win in 24 professional appearances.
Traditionally, Cutelaba is a one-round fighter, but this three-round effort should help alleviate that reputation.
Ariane Lipski def. Mandy Bohm
The transition to the UFC can be a difficult one. That was the lesson of the night for Mandy Bohm, who experienced her first loss as a professional in her UFC debut against Ariane Lipski.
Lipski's sharp striking was the difference from the beginning of the fight. Her strikes hit their target more often than not as she was consistently the quicker striker, and early work to the body paid off as the fight wore on.
The Brazilian showcased some power to go with her accuracy too, sitting Bohm down with a strong right hand in the second round.
The winner nearly drew the finish in the third round as she put her opponent on the mat again but ran out of time to get the finish.
The win was big for Lipski as she came into the bout with back-to-back losses. A loss against a relative unknown in Bohm making her UFC debut might have been cause for a pink slip.
Arman Tsarukyan def. Christos Giagos
Arman Tsarukyan was one of the biggest favorites on the card, and he made sure that he lived up to that pressure with a first-round TKO win over Christos Giagos.
Giagos dropped his guard while throwing a leg kick, and that proved to be the only opening Tsarukyan needed as he unloaded a hook that floored his opponent. From there, he followed up with more hooks on the ground until the bout was mercifully called.
This was a facet of the 24-year-old's skill set we hadn't seen. The Russian has ripped off four straight wins since dropping his UFC debut to Islam Makhachev, but the first three were by decision and featured his wrestling.
If Tsarukyan can continue to develop his striking and land those kinds of punches on higher-caliber opponents, he could be a force in the lightweight division./p>
Nate Maness def. Tony Gravely
Nate Maness just doesn't give up. Coming in as a slight underdog to Tony Gravely, there were multiple times in the fight it didn't look like he had much of a chance.
At the end of the first round, Gravely clipped him with a hook that would have likely ended the fight with even just a few more seconds on the clock.
The second round wasn't going much better for Maness. Gravely sensed the danger he put him in at the end of the round and kept up the pressure looking to get the finish. Maness hung around just long enough to see his fortunes change, though.
He followed a hook to the body with a quick right uppercut that found a home and put Gravely on the ground.
The win moves Maness up to 3-0 in the UFC, and while he definitely has things to work on, his grit and skills are going to make him an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.
Joaquin Buckley def. Antonio Arroyo
Joaquin Buckley is no stranger to highlight knockouts, and he added another one to his reel with a third-round finish of Antonio Arroyo.
Going into the third round, the bout was close between the two middleweights. But Buckley has shown that he can turn a fight on a dime in the past, and he did it once again. A clubbing right hand landed, which set up a massive uppercut on Arroyo's way down that put him out.
Arroyo landed some heavy shots in the fight too. Buckley was sporting a massive hematoma on his head, and there was a chance that he was losing on the scorecards.
All five of Buckley's UFC appearances have ended by knockout. He's 3-2 in that stretch, so it's hard to tell if he can ever figure out things defensively well enough to become a threat in the division or if he's destined to be a fun action fighter.
Either way, he has a future in the organization.