A UFC light heavyweight title bout was announced earlier today between champion Jon Jones and challenger Anthony Smith.
Jones (23-1, 1 no contest) returned from suspension last week to earn an impressive third round TKO victory over rival Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in a rematch. Jones is widely considered the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the history of mixed martial arts, having never truly tasted defeat and convincingly finishing some of the greatest light heavyweight fighters of all time like Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson and more.
Jones also has been his own worst enemy, repeatedly running into trouble with the law for driving-related offenses as well as testing positive for drugs, elevated testosterone and steroids, which has resulted in multiple suspensions that have taken years away from his fighting career.
Smith (31-13) has been a new man since moving from the middleweight division to the light heavyweight division last year. After suffering a TKO loss to Thiago Santos at 185 pounds, Smith moved up to 205 pounds and immediately began defeating former champions and title challengers convincingly, knocking out Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua in less than 90 seconds each before earning a third round submission over top light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir this past October, which cemented himself as a serious player in the division.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas had this to say about the upcoming contest.
“Anthony Smith has been sensational since moving up to 205 pounds, showcasing impressive power, speed and submission skills, but unlike his three previous opponents, Jon Jones doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses Smith can exploit. Smith and Jones are the same height, but Jones has eight inches in reach on him and Jones is the better wrestling and ground fighter while possession a strong chin. Smith may have Jones in pure punching power, but Jones’ exceptional use of range could take that advantage away. Smith has been vulnerable to superior ground fighters in the past and that is probably the easiest path to victory here for Jones, who is going to open as a massive betting favorite.”
Betting odds for Jones vs Smith (via Bet DSI) are posted below:
MARCH 2, 2019
T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, Nevada
UFC Light Heavyweight Title
Anthony Smith +700
Jon Jones -1300
CLICK BELOW TO BET ON UFC 235 JONES VS SMITH