UFC on ESPN 55’s Bogdan Guskov still down for Anthony Smith fight despite ‘friendly sparring’

LAS VEGAS – Bogdan Guskov has formed something of a relationship with his doppelgänger Anthony Smith, but it hasn’t prevented him from wanting that fight.

When Guskov (15-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was signed to the UFC, many immediately noticed the similarities in his looks with longtime light heavyweight contender Smith (37-19 MMA, 12-9 UFC). In fact, Guskov even called for the matchup after recording his first octagon win in February.

Instead, the promotion matched Guskov up with Ryan Spann (21-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 55 co-main event at the UFC Apex (ESPN, ESPN+). During his preparation, Guskov said he encountered Smith at Xtreme Couture, and they opted to get some training in, teasing a potential future showdown.

“He’s very good guy,” Guskov told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “He have a very beautiful face I think. We have not only a picture, but we have a sparring with him. I work a little bit with him, only for touching, like friendly sparring. It’s been a good experience for me. Maybe in the future. This guy in the top. I don’t think about the future. I think about my fight. After, if this fight interesting for UFC, let’s do it. I am ready.”

Guskov, 31, made it clear he’s solely focused on fighting Spann this weekend and promised a “big drama show” when they step into the cage together. Guskov is intrigued by the challenge of fighting Spann, who has competed against notables such as Smith, Dominick Reyes and more.

If he’s able to pull off the win, Guskov thinks it changes his career trajectory overnight.

“This moment is very interesting,” Guskov said. “Not for fans. This is interesting for me because this is a guy from the top. (I think) nothing about future fights, but in the top 10, they have a lot of sharks, and I think no problem finding a new opponent for me after this win.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 55.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie