Anthony Smith continues to put the two-fight losing streak of early 2020 further in his rearview mirror.
“Lionheart” earned a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for his first-round submission of Ryan Spann in the UFC Fight Night 192 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Smith dropped Spann twice in the early going, advancing to his opponent’s back on the second occasion and locking in a rear-naked choke to force the tap 3:47 into Round 1 of the light heavyweight bout for his third consecutive victory.
Elsewhere, lightweight prospect Arman Tsarukyan garnered a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” check by making short work of Christos Giagos in another featured pairing. The American Top Team prospect countered a body kick from Giagos with a left hook that put his foe on his seat near the fence. From there, Tsarukyan unloaded with ground-and-pound until the bout was halted 2:09 into the first frame.
Earlier, Nathan Maness captured a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus by virtue of a thrilling come-from-behind win against Tony Gravely at bantamweight. Gravely nearly finished the contest in Round 1, when he dropped Maness with a right hook and flurried with punches in pursuit of the stoppage. Maness survived to see the horn, however, and then floored Gravely with a right hand in Round 2 before sealing his victory with punches and hammerfists at the 2:26 mark of the period.
Finally, Joaquin Buckley shook off a slow start to secure the evening’s final $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus in a knockout victory against Antonio Arroyo at middleweight. After Arroyo controlled the first two rounds behind a variety of kicks, Buckley turned up the heat with by dropping his foe with an uppercut and finishing the fight with hammerfists 2:26 into Round 3.