Ryan Spann has won plenty of admirers since debuting in the UFC on Dan White's Contender Series in 2018, and he can break into the top 10 with victory over light heavyweight rival Anthony Smith.

After a rare weekend off, the UFC returns on Sunday with Smith and Spann set to sign off the card at the Apex in Las Vegas.

Smith vs Spann Betting Odds 

Smith is ranked #6 in the light heavyweight division, but his hopes of being a title challenger appear to be a thing of the past, and his role in the company is very much one of gatekeeper to test the up-and-comers.

Defeats to #1 Glover Teixeira and #3 Aleksandar Rakic in 2020 suggest that Smith is beyond the prime of his career, but he did bounce back by defeating Devin Clark and Jimmy Crute.

Lionheart is priced at 10/17 to make it three on the bounce this weekend, but there's no doubting that Spann is a step up from Clark and Crute.

Spann is surprisingly the 6/4 underdog despite barely putting a foot wrong since first appearing on season 10 of Dan White's Contender Series.

He is 6-1 under the UFC banner, with his sole defeat for the company coming against Johnny Walker when he was stopped in the first round of a wild contest.

The 30-year-old bounced back with a knockout victory of his own when last seen in March, beating #13 Misha Cirkunov in impressive fashion.

Anthony Smith Record 

Smith is an MMA veteran and has been competing professionally since 2008 when he made his debut in Victory FC with a submission win against Dave Moran.

Over the following years, he has been extremely active and heads into Sunday's fight with a 35-16 record, winning 19 by knockout, 13 via submission, and three by decision.

The 33-year-old is on a two-fight winning streak with both of those victories coming in the first round, submitting Clark and beating Crute by TKO.

Ryan Spann Record 

Spann went 3-1 as an amateur, and he backed that up by winning his first five fights after turning professional in 2013.

Superman fell short in his first attempt to earn a contract in the UFC, losing to Karl Roberson in series 3 of Dana White's Contender Series, but he needed just 26 seconds to claim victory the second time around on series 10.

He enters the Octagon this weekend at 19-6, with five wins coming via knockout, 11 courtesy of submission and three by way of decision.

Smith vs Spann Prediction

Spann to win - BET NOW


Spann looks to have the quality to go far in the light heavyweight division, and victory over Smith will propel him into the top 10.

Both fighters have a point to prove, but the pick here is Spann, who boasts a height and reach advantage over his opponent.

The light heavyweight division is well stacked, especially inside the top 10, and any slip-up will seriously harm Spann's hopes of earning a title shot in the next couple of years.

Victory over Smith will certainly have Spann's rivals taking notice, and his recent performances suggest he has the tools to beat his opponent in all areas.

Under 2.5 rounds - BET NOW


History suggests this headline fight won't go the distance with both fighters trending towards being in and out quickly over recent times.

Smith's last two trips to the Octagon have ended in the first round, while that has also been the case in each of Spann's previous two fights, although one of those ended in defeat.

Spann has only gone beyond two rounds twice in his last 12 contests, and another early finish looks like the most likely outcome.

Smith vs Spann Betting Tips

1. Spann to win - BET NOW

2. Under 2.5 rounds - BET NOW

Sign up to Easyodds to use our odds comparison service for all your betting choices!

You can grab any new customer offer in our free bets section to place a wager on these fights. Thank you for reading and good luck betting today!

Get all the best UFC 261 odds at our extensive boxing & UFC betting centre