Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze prediction, pick, start time, odds for UFC 303

Anthony Smith and Roman Dolidze meet Saturday on the main card of UFC 303 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Check out this quick breakdown of the matchup from MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom. 

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Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze UFC 303 preview

Former light heavyweight title challenger Smith (38-19 MMA, 13-9 UFC) steps up on short notice and finds himself sharing the cage with a middleweight. This will be Smith’s second fight of the year, and he will look to make it back-to-back wins following a first-round submission of Vitor Petrino at UFC 301 in May. If successful, it will be the first time “Lionheart” has won consecutively since 2021. … Dolidze (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is the other half of this short-notice affair. The middleweight goes up in weight for this event, looking to halt a two-fight skid. Dolidze ended up on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards against Nassourdine Imavov in February and Marvin Vettori last March.

Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze UFC 303 expert pick, prediction

Despite stepping in to save an aborted co-main event between Jamahal Hill and Carlos Ulberg (that was originally slated to be Hill vs. Khalil Rountree), Smith now finds himself in an impromptu matchup at 205 pounds with UFC middleweight, Dolidze.

Even though Smith is no stranger to stepping in on short notice, Dolidze provides a unique challenge regardless of weight class.

An unpredictable wildman by nature, Dolidze is deceptively agile for his size and comes with a plethora of opportunistic submissions in his back pocket.

Smith may be a skilled Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but he’ll need to respect the danger that Dolidze presents. That said, I can’t help but side with the veteran in this spot.

Aside from the fact that Dolidze lacks a reliable process to produce replicable wins, the native of Georgia appears to tire as fights wear on (even when on a full camp).

Add in the fact that Nassourdine Imavov was able to hurt Dolidze badly with a combination that resembled some of the finishes that Smith scored over UFC middleweights in the past, I’ll side with “Lionheart” to produce a semi-surprising stoppage in Round 3.

Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze UFC 303 odds

The oddsmakers and the public are favoring the Georgian fighter, listing Dolidze -146 and Smith +114 via FanDuel.

Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze UFC 303 start time, how to watch

As the feature main card bout, Smith and Dolidze are expected to make their walks to the cage at approximately 11:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. local time in Las Vegas). The fight streams live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie