In the main event of UFC Vegas 8, Anthony Smith takes on Aleksandar Rakic.
- With the light heavyweight title vacant, Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic look to become top contenders
- Robbie Lawler returns to the Octagon in the co-main event
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC Vegas 8 main card below
The stretch of a UFC event every weekend continues, and on August 29th, the promotion remains at the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 8.
In the main event, Anthony Smith looks to get back into the win column against the surging contender, Aleksandar Rakic. The co-main event sees former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, return after a year away to take on Neil Magny.
The UFC Vegas 8 main card airs live on ESPN at 9 pm ET. The table below shows odds for the main card at two different sportsbooks, followed by best bets for the event.
UFC Vegas 8 Main Card Odds
|Fighter||Odds at FanDuel||Odds at DraftKings|
|Ji Yeon Kim||+235||+233|
Odds taken August 24th
Does the Winner Become a Top Contender?
Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic were originally supposed to be a main card fight, but after Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez was rescheduled, the light heavyweights were promoted to the main event.
This main event is only three rounds as opposed to the regular five rounds due to the short notice change.
Smith & Rakic Recent Fights
|Glover Teixeira, loss by TKO||Fight 1||Volkan Oezdemir, loss by decision|
|Alexander Gustafsson, win by submission||Fight 2||Jimi Manuwa, win by KO|
|Jon Jones, loss by decision||Fight 3||Devin Clark, win by TKO|
|Volkan Oezdemir, win by submission||Fight 4||Justin Ledet, win by decision|
This is a very intriguing matchup and a good test for both men. Smith has already fought for UFC gold and has proven he is a top-five light heavyweight.
However, last time out, he did not look good and was dominated by Glover Teixeira. Rakic, meanwhile, had a step up in competition and lost a very close decision to Volkan Oezdemir, but many pundits thought the Austrian won.
With the light heavyweight title vacant, the winner of Smith and Rakic could very well be a win or two away from fighting for the belt.
The odds for this fight don’t reflect what I think will play out in the octagon. Anthony Smith is constantly overlooked by the oddsmakers and the betting public.
He was a sizeable underdog against Gustafsson and a small one against Oezdemir – he had his hand raised in both matchups. There is no question “Lionheart” did not look good in his last fight, but Rakic has yet to fight a top-five opponent.
I believe we see Rakic come out guns blazing in the first looking for the stoppage. After that, Smith will be able to piece up the Austrian and use his grappling to win the second and third rounds, earning a decision win. At +240 there is massive value as to me, this is a pick’em fight.
Pick: Anthony Smith (+240)
Smith vs Rakic Stats
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
How Will Lawler Look After a Year Away?
Robbie Lawler has not fought in over a year and is taking this fight on short notice. Neil Magny, meanwhile, has been active since returning from suspension and is looking to remain undefeated in 2020.
Lawler & Magny Recent Fights
|Colby Covington, loss by decision||Fight 1||Anthony Rocco Martin, win by decision|
|Ben Askren, loss by submission||Fight 2||Jingliang Lio, win by decision|
|Rafael dos Anjos, loss by decision||Fight 3||Santiago Ponzinibbio, loss by KO|
|Donald Cerrone, win by decision||Fight 4||Craig White, win by KO|
This is a big fight for both men as it will tell where they are in their careers. Lawler is looking to snap his three-fight losing streak. Magny, meanwhile, is getting a big fight and every time he has taken a step up in competition he has lost, as evidenced by the KO loss to Ponzinibbio and the submission loss to dos Anjos.
In this fight, I expect Magny to use his six-inch reach to keep Lawler at distance. Once the former champ tries to come in and land the KO punch, Magny should be able to use the clinch and just control the fight and earn a decision win. Yet, at -210, that is too short for me to bet on.
Pick: Neil Magny (-210)
Other UFC Vegas 8 Picks:
- Alexa Grasso (-290): Grasso should be able to piece up Kim on the feet and earn a decision win.
- Ricardo Lamas (N/A): This fight was only announced on Sunday night, but Lamas should be a big favorite. He should win by stoppage but it is hard to bet on Lamas due to his inconsistency.
- Magomed Ankalaev (-335): Ankalaev is the better striker and should be able to TKO Ion Cutelaba again but at -335 I wouldn’t lay that chalk and instead look for an inside the distance prop.
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.