The UFC has booked argubaly the very best 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 information with them. The holdup now is that Jones still wants to get his permit in the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should occur later this month after he’s got a hearing regarding his contentious failed drug test for picograms before UFC 232.
The news of Jones vs. Smith being reserved for UFC 235 came along with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reporting which Kamaru Usman is place to combat UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 at the co-main occasion. I wrote about that matchup in last 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 be favored based on the fact he’s the defending champion, but I provide Usman a fantastic shot to win the title.
So far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it is clearly the right struggle to reserve and it’s fantastic news the UFC is making this battle instead of Jones contrary to Corey Anderson, that wouldn’t happen to be a competitive fight. At least Smith has the finishing ability to make matters interesting, though Jones will still enter this fight as a massive betting favorite due to his unbelievable album and how good 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 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 one of the greatest resumes we have ever seen in the game and he’s looked pretty much unstoppable in his MMA career save to get an extremely controversial DQ defeat to Matt Hamill almost a decade ago currently 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 during two separate stints at the UFC, Smith has exploded into stardom as a light heavyweight since moving up a weight class in the middle of 2018. He’s defeated Shogun, Evans and at his very last conclusion Volkan Oezdemir all by finish, making a title shot because of his incredible run at 205lbs.
As great as Smith has appeared at light heavyweight, it’s still not possible to favor him to conquer Jones, who has shown very few flaws in his game since making his UFC debut over a decade ago. I would search for Jones to be about a -500 favorite for this fight, and considering Smith has been completed 14 days in his career there is a good opportunity Jones stops him in this fight.
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