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UFC’s Anthony Smith respecting ‘the game’ with latest opponents

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Even as Anthony Smith prepares for his eighth UFC headlining gig, the one-time light heavyweight title challenger makes the effort to remember a time when he was the up-and-comer looking to prove himself.

It’s that type of rising would-be contenders who’ve stood across the cage from “Lionheart” his past few outings. Ryan Spann, Saturday night’s opponent in the UFC Fight Night main event emanating from UFC Apex in Las Vegas (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+), is no different.

“It’s crazy how the circle of life comes back around, isn’t it?” Smith told The Post over the phone earlier this week.

Before Smith (35-16, 32 finishes) joined the ranks of UFC’s reliable non-title headliners, he might have been best described at first glance as a journeyman middleweight — not necessarily on the path to championship contention. Five years into his professional MMA career, he had already washed out of the UFC, losing his only fight for the promotion in 2013 after up-and-down results for freshly absorbed Strikeforce. A loss on the regional scene six months later dropped him to 18-11 and on a three fight skid.

Not exactly an upward trajectory, even at age 25 at the time.

What’s when Smith’s fortunes changed. He assembled a seven-fight winning streak to earn his way back to the UFC. Still competing at middleweight at this point, he went 4-1 before suffering a TKO loss to future 205-pound title contender Thiago Santos, prompting his own move up to that weight class; a reasonable idea, given his large 6-foot-4 frame.

Anthony Smith, at left, and Ryan Spann
Anthony Smith (left) and Ryan Spann
Zuffa LLC

In June 2018, Smith kicked off his run at the new weight with a 53-second KO that sent former divisional champion Rashad Evans into retirement — well, not literally kicked off, as it was a knee that felled the former champ. Though the win was a nice feather in the cap, it came on the less-viewed prelim portion of the card.

The big break came six weeks later, when an injury to former UFC and Pride champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua opened the door for a late replacement in a main event in Germany. Smith jumped at the chance, scoring another quick KO of a former promotional star, and he remains grateful to Shogun and Evans to this day.

“Rashad and Shogun gave me an opportunity that they didn’t have to,” Smith said. “When I fought Shogun in that short-notice [bout], he was on a [three-fight] winning streak. They were talking about him getting a title shot. He didn’t have to give me that opportunity when his original opponent fell out. He could have just waited for a better opportunity or one that wasn’t short-notice or whatever, and he gave me that shot. So I’ll always be in debt to Shogun for that.”

It’s not just the lesson taken away from the Shogun fight that guides Smith’s decision to take on all comers, even as a fighter who had been fighting the best in the division from 2018 through 2020. Part of that is the fact that he lost two straight last year to well-regarded Glover Teixeira — who will challenge champion Jan Blachowicz next month — and fast-rising Alexander Rakic.

But Smith points to doing things in a way he views as the right way in combat sports.

“I think I owe it to the game, too,” said the 33-year-old Smith. “I was the young up-and-comer who wanted to fight the bigger names much earlier than I got them, and I don’t want to pull the rope up. If I say that I [can] be the world champion, I should be able to beat [anyone]. And if I can’t, then I don’t deserve the ranking that I have.”

Smith, a Nebraska native, enters the matchup against 30-year-old Spann (19-6, 16 finishes), a Tennesseean who’s 5-1 since winning his way onto the UFC roster through Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018, having won two straight over Devin Clark and Jimmy Crute. Both men are younger and were on hotter streaks at the time; both men were stopped before the fight reached the second round.

Smith hasn’t asked for any specific opponents the past few fights, but thinks he’s “getting close” to being in position to request a fight against a man who can help him climb back up the ladder toward a second shot at gold — he lost a decision to longtime 205-pound king Jon Jones in March 2019.

“After we get through Ryan Spann, I think I’ll be in a position to be able to ask for something,” Smith said. “And that’s how I’ve always worked with the UFC. I never ask for something unless I’m 100 percent sure that I’ve earned it. And, to my credit, I’ve never asked for something and not gotten it because I make sure that I’ve done enough and that I have … a good reason for what I’m asking for.”

And if Smith, who has earned finishes in 91.4 percent of his victories, keeps that trend going Saturday night on his way to victory, he just might have that good reason.

For further reading visit Source

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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