The UFC has reserved argubaly the top fighter in the world for a quick-turnaround bout, and I’ll give my thoughts on this new matchup in the present 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 affirming the information with them. The holdup now is that Jones still needs to get his license in the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should occur later this month after he’s got a hearing regarding his controversial 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 fight UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 at the co-main occasion. I wrote about that matchup in a week’s MMA odds and ends, which you may read here. The cole’s notes version of my thoughts on this bout would be that Woodley deserves to become preferred based on the fact he is the defending champion, but I provide Usman a fantastic chance to win the title.
So far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it is clearly the right struggle to book and it is good news the UFC is creating this fight instead of Jones against Corey Anderson, which would not have been a competitive struggle. At least Smith has the ending ability to make matters interesting, though Jones will still enter this fight as a massive betting favorite due to his unbelievable album and just how good he looked in his return bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, which he won via third-round KO.
Jones (23-1, 1 NC) has an unbelievable 17-1, 1 NC record in the Octagon which includes win over Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson twice, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Mauricio”Shogun” Rua, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. By all accounts, he’s among the best resumes we have ever seen in the sport and he has looked pretty much unstoppable in his MMA career save for a very controversial DQ defeat to Matt Hamill nearly 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 different stints in the UFC, Smith has exploded into stardom as a light heavyweight since moving up a weight class in the center of 2018. He has defeated Shogun, Evans and at his very last conclusion Volkan Oezdemir all by end, earning a title shot for his incredible run at 205lbs.
As great as Smith has appeared at light heavyweight, it is still not possible to favor him to beat Jones, who has shown 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’s a fantastic chance Jones stops him in this battle.
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