Over the past few weeks, Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann have taken turns accusing each other of failure to show proper respect. Both ranked light heavyweights have vowed to earn it in the Octagon when they meet on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann. Their battle tops the MMA showcase from the Apex facility in Las Vegas, with the main UFC fight card slated for 7 p.m. ET. The No. 11-ranked Spann has repeatedly told the media he believes Smith doesn’t take him seriously as an opponent, while the No. 6-ranked Smith, a former title-challenger, said Spann has underestimated his skillset.
Smith is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Spann is a +145 underdog in the latest UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, Ion Cutelaba (-140) meets Devin Clark (+120) in another light heavyweight matchup. Before locking in any UFC Fight Night selections of your own, make sure you see the picks and betting advice from SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 31 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $14,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has now connected on 35 of his last UFC 59 main-event selections, a stretch that includes a streak of five straight underdogs in 2020.
Two weeks ago at UFC Fight Night, Marley told SportsLine members to back veteran contender Derek Brunson (+145) against Darren Till (-165) in the middleweight main event. Brunson dominated from the outset and locked up a third-round submission to provide an easy underdog winner. Anyone who has followed Marley is way up.
Now, he’s locked in on Spann vs. Smith and just entered his UFC picks. Go here to see them.
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann preview
Marley knows the main event represents a major turning point in the careers of both fighters. Although Smith (35-16) is still just 33, he has been a professional MMA fighter for more than 13 years. The Nebraska resident is a fan favorite because of his resilience and propensity for action-packed fights. He is also respected for his charismatic demeanor outside of the Octagon and has built a reputation as a solid MMA analyst when he’s not training for his own fights.
However, many observers believe his career peaked in the loss to Jones in which he offered little resistance. He was also on the short end of a brutal beatdown by veteran Glover Teixeira last May that went down as one of the most lopsided main events in UFC history.
Smith fended off the role as gatekeeper by stopping rising prospects Clark and Jimmy Crute in his last two fights, but questions remain as to whether he can compete against upper-tier competition.
Spann (19-6) should help provide that answer, as he is looking for a signature win that will help propel him into the conversation of potential title-contenders. Three of UFC wins have come inside the distance, but he has faced mostly journeymen-level opposition. His lone defeat came against fellow prospect Johnny Walker by first-round knockout last September. The 30-year-old Memphis native responded with a first-round stoppage of Misha Cirkunov in March. See who to back here.
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann predictions
We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is backing Tony Gravely (-200) to get his hand raised against Nate Maness (+175) in a battle of bantamweight prospects.
Gravely (21-6) has shown power and a solid submission game while winning two of his first three fights under the UFC banner. The 29-year-old Florida resident earned his roster spot with a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series” before dropping his debut against veteran Brett Johns. He has rebounded with two consecutive wins and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Anthony Birchak.
Maness (13-1) is a power puncher who has seen seven of his 13 professional victories come inside the distance. The 30-year-old Kentucky native has won each of his first two UFC appearances, including a submission of Luke Sanders in November of last year.
“Gravely has the edge because of his superior wrestling. Maness might win a striking match, but I trust Gravely to fight smart and that includes a good amount of wrestling,” Marley told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Spann picks
Marley also has strong picks for Smith vs. Spann and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing one fighter who is the “better striker with more power.” Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Smith vs. Spann? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $14,000 on MMA in the past 31 months, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, card
Anthony Smith (-165) vs. Ryan Spann (+145)
Ion Cutelaba (-140) vs. Devin Clark (+120)
Ariane Lipski (-120) vs. Mandy Bohm (+100)
Nikolas Motta (-300) vs. Cameron VanCamp (+250)
Raquel Pennington (-130) vs. Pannie Kianzad (+110)
Montel Jackson (-600) vs. JP Buys (+450)
Tony Gravely (-200) vs. Nate Maness (+175)
Tafon Nchuwki (-130) vs. Mike Rodriguez (+110)
Arman Tsarukyan (-700) vs. Christos Giagos (+500)
Dakota Bush (-130) vs. Zhu Rong (+110)
Emily Whitmire (-120) vs. Hannah Goldy (+100)
Joaquin Buckley (-210) vs. Antonio Arroyo (+180)
Heili Alateng (-125) vs. Gustavo Lopez (+105)
Impa Kasanganay (-125) vs. Carlston Harris (+105)
Erin Blanchfield (-310) vs. Sarah Alpar (+255)