The Prelim Breakout Star is a once-per-event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
Nickname – King Kage
Affiliation – Factory X Muay Thai
From – Englewood, Colorado
Height – 5’9″
Weight – 155 lbs (Lightweight)
Record – 11-2 (3-1, UFC)
What makes him impressive
Smith has absolute dynamite in his hands. It’s not even that he throws with everything he has on every strike. Instead, it’s a much more calculated system, which he manages to conserve his energy for the biggest shots. However, even when he’s not going balls to the wall for a finish, he still has KO potential. We’ve seen him throw punches that seem like they are setups to bigger combinations, but then knock his opponent out. This comes from being both extremely fast and incredibly precise with his work.
Why he has been overlooked
After coming to the UFC with tons of fanfare, Smith continued to impress. He KOed his first two opponents in less than a round combined. That earned him a booking with John Makdessi, who was also surging at the time. However, an injury to Makdessi and then a subsequent fill-in led him to fight his friend, Khama Worthy. Worthy put his own name on the map with a shocking upset KO. Even though he’s bounced back with another stoppage, that took the attention off of him for a bit. Not enough to sway the bookmakers though, who have him as a -154 favorite (Odds by FanDuel).
What makes this a good match-up
Jamie Mullarkey is a guy who has largely tried to use his wrestling to pick up wins in the UFC. It hasn’t worked well as he went 0-2 in his first two fights. He then landed a big KO over the aforementioned Khama Worthy, seemingly saving his UFC contract. Should he think that’s a path to victory against Smith, he’ll be sorely mistaken. However, even if he reverts back to trying to wrestle, the wrestling background of Smith should keep this upright enough.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 228-107-1 (2 NC) (13 DNF)
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