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UFC fighter, Omaha native lands main event

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 18:28:20-04

An Omaha man campaigning to fight in his home-state on MMA's biggest stage gets a huge opportunity he didn't expect.  Anthony Smith puts it all on the line in the octagon and will now headline a major event in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Smith, 29, defeated former light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans in the first round in Chicago last month.  Since then he's been telling everybody and social media and in interviews he wants a bout at UFC's Fight Night in Lincoln in August.  He said it'd be a dream come true to fight in front of his home state fans.

But in the last week, UFC offered him a match against another former champ, Maricio "Shogun" Rua, in the main event of July's Fight Night in Germany and he accepted.

"It's bitter sweet to not be able to fight in Lincoln. I really, really, really wanted to fight in Lincoln in the UFC, but as they say when one door closes another one opens," Smith explained. "I'm not able to fight in lincoln.  I'll be there in the crowd supporting the UFC and doing it that way but an opportunity of a lifetime has opened up so i can go take out the #8 guy in the world, former world champion, and put myself in the mix for a title shot."

Smith has been a professional fighter for 10 years, competing in Nebraska many times before signing with UFC.

The UFC Fight Night bout between Shogun v. Smith will take place on July 22 in Hamburg, Germany at 1pm (CST).  It will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.