Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns on pay-per-view (PPV) this weekend for UFC 288 as they land in Newark, New Jersey. There are four fighters making their debut and one of the more interesting fighters is a Heavyweight knockout artist who is a massive horror movie fan, Braxton Smith.
Braxton “The Beautiful Monster” Smith
Fighting out of: Austin, Texas
Smith is an ex-football player who he played running back since he was the age of 10. He played for a semi-professional team called the Capital City Bison and then in 2017 he signed his first-ever professional football contract for an arena football team called the Vermont Bucks in Burlington, Vermont. He stopped playing football in 2019.
When he stopped playing football, it was actually his mother who got him to start fighting.
“So, my mom got me into mixed martial arts,” Smith told MMA Mania in a recent interview. “Crazy right? Usually, moms don’t like seeing their kids get hit, but she is a big fan of the sport. After my football career ended, I asking myself ‘What am I gonna do now?’ And my mom was like, ‘Well, I’m gonna let the streets take you.’ So, shortly after that she introduced me to MMA and I was fighting literally a week later. It was crazy.’
It turned out to be a great decision because Smith took to MMA very well. Since returning to active competition in 2022, he has knocked out all five of his opponents in the first round with all of them being under three minutes. And when he knocks his opponents out, most of the time they wake up in the different reality.
His most recent knockout came in March of 2023 against Jakori Savage at Peak Fighting 27.
Check it out:
Here is his Heavyweight title win at Peak Fighting Texas against Cameron Chism-Brungard.
This weekend at UFC 288, Smith faces UFC veteran Parker Porter in the “Early Prelim” headliner. Currently, he sits at a +140 underdog on DraftKings.
Now that you know about his fighting, let’s get to his real love…all things horror – movies, books, games, etc. Smith is a horror movie aficionado and as he even describes himself a horror nerd.
“When I’m not working out, I’m watching any horror movie I can get my hands on. S—t, I’m reading all of the horror movie blogs, reading horror books. My living room is full of horror movie posters. It is 365 days a year of fandom for me,” Smith said. “Horror movies and fighting, that is just me.”
His favorite horror movie is the original 1979 Halloween, by the way. Oh, and his nickname “The Beautiful Monster” plays off his love of horror and has a horror podcast called ‘Coming Soon Podcast’
“A friend of mine in Texas was like ‘Man, your a big horror fan, and your a big beautiful athlete’ and I was this was before I was really fighting and I really liked it, so, I’m ‘The Beautiful Monster.’ It just fits me,” Smith said.
Watch Smith try and claim his first bloody victim this Saturday at UFC 288 on ESPN+.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 288 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 288: “Sterling vs. Cejudo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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