The UFC has reserved argubaly the top fighter in the world to get a quick-turnaround bout, and I will give my thoughts on this brand 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, with UFC president Dana White affirming the news together. The holdup now is that Jones still wants to receive his permit from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which should happen later this month later he’s got a hearing about 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 that Kamaru Usman is place to combat UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 at the co-main event. I wrote about that matchup in last 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 be favored based on the fact he is the defending champion, but I provide Usman a great shot to win the title.
As far as Jones vs. Smith goes, it’s clearly the right fight to book and it’s good news the UFC is making this battle rather than Jones contrary to Corey Anderson, which would not happen to be a competitive struggle. At least Smith gets the finishing capability to make matters interesting, though Jones will presumably still enter this fight as a gigantic betting favorite due to his incredible album and 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 from the Octagon that includes win over Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson double, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Mauricio”Shogun” Rua, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. By all reports, he’s among the greatest resumes we have 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 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 during 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 finish Volkan Oezdemir all by finish, earning a title shot for his incredible run at 205lbs.
As good as Smith has looked at light heavyweight, it is still not possible to favor him to beat Jones, that has revealed very few 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 fight, and contemplating Smith has been completed 14 times in his profession there is a fantastic chance Jones stops him in this battle.
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