The UFC has booked argubaly the very best fighter in the world to get a quick-turnaround bout, and I will offer my thoughts on this new matchup in the present MMA odds and ends.
Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith, UFC 235 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, together with UFC president Dana White affirming the news together. The holdup now is that Jones still wants to get his permit from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should occur later this month later he has a hearing regarding his controversial 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 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 ideas on this bout are that Woodley deserves to become favored based on the fact he’s the defending champion, but that I provide Usman a great shot to win the title.
So far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it is obviously the ideal struggle to reserve and it’s good news the UFC is making this fight rather than Jones contrary to Corey Anderson, which wouldn’t have been a competitive fight. At least Smith gets the ending ability to make things interesting, though Jones will still enter this fight as a massive betting favorite due to his incredible record and just how good he looked in his return bout against Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 232, he won through third-round KO.
Jones (23-1, 1 NC) has an unbelievable 17-1, 1 NC album 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 reports, he has one of the greatest resumes we have ever seen in the sport and he’s looked pretty much unstoppable in his MMA career save for an extremely 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 during two separate stints at the UFC, Smith has burst into stardom as a light heavyweight since moving up a weight class in the middle of 2018. He has defeated Shogun, Evans and at his very last finish Volkan Oezdemir all by end, making a title shot for his unbelievable run at 205lbs.
As good as Smith has looked at light hearted, it’s still impossible to favor him to beat Jones, that has shown hardly any flaws in his game since making his UFC debut over a decade ago. I would search for Jones to be around a -500 favored for this battle, and considering Smith has been finished 14 days in his profession there’s a fantastic opportunity Jones stops him in this fight.
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