The UFC has booked argubaly the very best fighter in the world for a quick-turnaround bout, and I will offer my thoughts on this brand new matchup in today’s MMA odds and ends.
UFC 235 vs. Anthony Smith, jon Jones UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will put his belt on the line against Anthony Smith at UFC 235, which takes place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. TMZ was the first to report on the bout, together with UFC president Dana White confirming the information together. The holdup now is that Jones still wants to get his permit from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should happen later this month later he has a hearing about his contentious failed drug test for picograms before UFC 232.
The information of Jones vs. Smith being booked for UFC 235 came alongside ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reporting that Kamaru Usman is set to combat UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in UFC 235 in the co-main event. I wrote about that matchup in a week’s MMA odds and ends, which you can read here. The cole’s notes version of my thoughts on that bout are that Woodley deserves to become favored based on the fact he is the defending champion, but I give Usman a great chance to win the title.
As far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it’s obviously the ideal fight to reserve and it is good news the UFC is making this battle instead of Jones against Corey Anderson, that would not happen to be a competitive fight. At least Smith gets the finishing ability to make things interesting, though Jones will still enter this battle as a gigantic betting favorite as a result of his unbelievable album and just how great he looked in his return bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, which he won through third-round KO.
Jones (23-1, 1 NC) has an unbelievable 17-1, 1 NC record in the Octagon which includes triumph over Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson double, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Mauricio”Shogun” Rua, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. By all reports, he’s one of the best resumes we’ve ever seen in the sport and he has appeared pretty much unstoppable in his MMA career save to get an extremely controversial DQ defeat to Matt Hamill almost a decade ago now in December 2009. Smith (31-13) is among the most-improved fighters in the UFC. After racking up a 4-3 document as a middleweight through two separate stints in the UFC, Smith has burst into stardom as a light heavyweight since moving up a weight class in the center of 2018. He has defeated Shogun, Evans and in his very last conclusion Volkan Oezdemir all by end, making a title shot because of his incredible run at 205lbs.
As good as Smith has looked at light hearted, it’s still not possible to prefer him to conquer Jones, who has revealed very few flaws in his game since making his UFC debut over a decade ago. I’d search for Jones to be around a -500 favorite for this battle, and contemplating Smith has been finished 14 times in his profession there is a good chance Jones stops him in this battle.
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