A new main event is nearly finalized for the upcoming UFC card in Hamburg, Germany as Anthony Smith is expected to face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the headline fight on July 22.
Sources close to the matchup confirmed verbal agreements are in place for the fight following an initial report from ESPN.
The fight came together in quick order after Volkan Oezdemir was pulled from the main event for a matchup against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 in Los Angeles on Aug. 4.
Smith has been jockeying for a spot on the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in his home state of Nebraska but hadn’t found an opponent yet.
Now the former middleweight turned light heavyweight gets an even better opportunity as he steps in on short notice to face a former champion in ‘Shogun’ in his first UFC main event.
Smith is fresh off a first round knockout over another former champion in Rashad Evans at UFC 225 in June.
Assuming bout agreements will be finalized, Smith will face ‘Shogun’ in the headliner for the UFC’s return to Germany with another light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ilir Latifi serving as the co-main event.