The UFC has booked argubaly the top fighter in the world for a quick-turnaround bout, and I will give 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 about the bout, with UFC president Dana White confirming the news with them. The holdup now is that Jones still needs to receive his permit from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should happen later this month after he has a hearing about his contentious failed drug test for picograms before UFC 232.
The news of Jones vs. Smith being booked for UFC 235 came along with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reporting that Kamaru Usman is set to fight 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 may read here. The cole’s notes version of my thoughts on this bout would be that Woodley deserves to become favored based on the fact he is the defending champion, but I provide Usman a fantastic shot to win the title.
So far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it’s obviously the ideal fight to reserve and it’s good news the UFC is making this battle rather than Jones against Corey Anderson, which wouldn’t have been a competitive fight. At least Smith gets the ending capability to make matters interesting, though Jones will still enter this battle as a massive betting favorite as a result of his unbelievable record and just how great he looked in his return bout against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, he won via third-round KO.
Jones (23-1, 1 NC) has an incredible 17-1, 1 NC record in the Octagon that includes triumph over Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson twice, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Mauricio”Shogun” Rua, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. By all reports, he’s one of the greatest resumes we’ve ever seen in the game and he has appeared pretty much unstoppable in his MMA career save to get a very controversial DQ defeat to Matt Hamill nearly a decade ago now in December 2009. Smith (31-13) is one of 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 in his last finish Volkan Oezdemir all by finish, earning a title shot because of his unbelievable run at 205lbs.
As good as Smith has appeared at light hearted, it’s still not possible to prefer him to beat Jones, that has shown hardly any flaws in his game since making his UFC debut over a decade ago. I’d search for Jones to be around a -500 favored for this battle, and contemplating Smith has been finished 14 days in his profession there is a good opportunity Jones stops him in this battle.
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