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Eugene Bareman: Anthony Smith could be ‘a harder fight’ for Carlos Ulberg at UFC 303 than Jamahal Hill

Eugene Bareman is not taking Anthony Smith as a lighter challenge for Carlos Ulberg.

Ulberg (9-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was scheduled to face former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill June 29 at UFC 303, but Hill was forced out due a knee injury. Ulberg will now meet Smith (38-19 MMA, 13-9 UFC) on the main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Smith is ranked several spots below Hill, but the City Kickboxing head coach thinks he could end up presenting a sterner test for Ulberg.

“(He’s) slightly below, but the top 15, the nature of the top 15 is what separates the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 15 is nothing,” Bareman told Combat TV. “No. 15 could easily beat No. 4 or No. 12 could beat No. 2 – like nothing separates these guys. There is a number next to these guys’ name, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the opponent. They’re all just the best guys in the world.

“So there’s many people that would argue Carlos is jumping into an even harder fight now with Anthony Smith. A little bit of a shame that he’s not fighting a guy that’s ranked above him, and also a bit of a shame that he’s not fighting on the Conor McGregor undercard. I think that brings a lot of value to young fighters coming up.”

Regardless of opponent change, Ulberg will be facing his most notable name to date in Smith. Ulberg is on a six-fight winning streak, with five of his wins coming by finish.

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie