Smith is one of the most disappointing TUF winners to come along in some time. He’s a good guy and represents a great cause but his skill level is simply not where it needs to be to compete in the UFC’s lightweight division. He’s shown little improvement since his stint on the reality franchise and is now on a two-fight skid with stoppages in each defeat. On the bright side, Smith is only 26 so he has time to improve. If he is able to eventually focus completely on MMA instead of splitting time with a job in the military, the future could be bright. If not, and his chin continues to fail, Smith will fizzle out. He’s got one more fight’s worth of wiggle room before being released, but don’t expect the UFC to do him any favors where matchmaking is concerned. Opponents like K.J. Noons and Jon Tuck are realistic possibilities based on availability/standing.
With no Draws on display, UFC Fight Night 31 produced two clearly defined groups of fighters based on success in the Octagon or lack thereof. The show featured eight finishes including five of the first-frame variety in addition to some well-scored decisions. While the event wasn’t necessarily the end of the road for every individual who came up short, few jobs are guaranteed when it comes to defeat on the sport’s biggest stage. Here’s a look at what might be next for some of the card’s less-fortunate folks… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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