Anthony Smith is back in the win column.
The former title challenger submitted Devin Clark with a triangle choke in the first round of the light heavyweight main event at UFC Fight Night on Saturday. The stoppage came at 2:34 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Smith snapped a two-fight skid with the victory.
"I'm not going anywhere," Smith said in his postfight interview. "Don't sleep on me."
Clark looked to land big punches at the start of the fight and went in for a takedown. Smith took him down instead and took his back. Clark then reversed the position, getting on top of his opponent.
But less than a minute later, Smith set up a triangle choke and locked in the submission, forcing Clark to tap out.
The fight was originally scheduled as the co-main event. But on Friday, Curtis Blaydes was forced out of the heavyweight main event against Derrick Lewis due to a positive COVID-19 test. Smith-Clark was moved to the headlining slot and became a five-round contest.
Smith, ranked No. 6 in the division, entered the bout coming off consecutive lopsided defeats to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.
"Lionheart" challenged Jon Jones for the 205-pound belt in early 2019. Before Saturday night, his only victory since then was a submission of fellow ex-title challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Clark competed in his first UFC main event and saw his two-fight winning streak come to an end.