UFC 235 will take place in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jon “Bones” Jones will defend his UFC Light Heavyweight title against the #3 ranked Anthony “Lionheart” Smith in the main event. UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley will put his belt on the line against the quickly ascending Kamaru Usman in the co-main event of the night.
Robbie Lawler returns to the octagon for the first time since December 2017 to take on Ben Askren in his highly anticipated UFC debut. Cody Garbrandt will kick off the main card against Pedro Munhoz in a bantamweight scrap the should have viewers and bettors on the edge of their seat. Tecia Torres will also be on the main card where she will take on Weili Zhang. This card is stacked with big names an important fights. This is a must-watch for UFC bettors and MMA fans alike.
UFC 235: Jones vs Smith
Saturday, March 2nd – 10:00 pm ET
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Anthony Smith is a veteran in the fight game. He has 46 professional fights under his belt with a 31-13 record. Smith was a middleweight before making the jump to 205 lbs. He’s currently 6-1 in his last seven fights and it riding a three-fight win streak over Volkan Oezdemir, Shogun Rua, and Rashad Evans. Each of his last six wins have come by KO/TKO or submission (Oezdemir).
Smith stands at 6’4” with a 76” reach. He’s 30 years old and fights out of Mick Doyle’s Kickboxing in Omaha, Nebraska.
There’s a lot to like about Smith. He’s a down to earth, level-headed guy. He seems like a genuinely good guy. He comes to fight and isn’t afraid to throw down. While he has a whole lot of experience under his belt, I don’t put too much stock in his recent wins.
Oezdemir is his best win, hands-down. Shogun and Rashad are on their way out, though. They’re legends of the sport deep into their decline. Rashad has retired since then and Shogun should have retired ages ago. Smith’s most legitimate competitor has been Thiago Santos, who finished Smith in the second round. You know that Jon Jones and the team over at Jackson/Winkeljohn have studied every minute of Smith’s career, starting with that loss to Santos.
Jones is the best student of the game the world has ever seen. He utilizes his length like no other fighter in the history of the sport. Jones will keep Smith at range with his oblique kicks, he’ll punish Smith in the clinch, and he’ll win the wrestling battle. Jones has also proven to have a chin on him. He’s faced tougher, stronger, smarter fighters, and has neutralized them all. Anthony Smith will be no different.
UFC 235: Woodley vs. Usman
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley faced a much bigger opponent his last time out in Darren Till. The size disparity was huge. Still, Woodley was able to make easy work of the Brit, punishing him before securing a submission victory. On Saturday, he’ll be facing a larger opponent once again. Kamaru “Nigerian Nightmare” Usman looks to remain undefeated in the UFC and pick up his ninth straight win in the octagon. Usman is a wrestler that can use his strength very well. He dominated the always game Rafael dos Anjos in November to win his title shot against Woodley.
When Usman steps into the octagon with Woodley, he’ll be the bigger, stronger man. That won’t make him the better fighter, however. Woodley is a very good boxer with bombs for fists. The champ is also a very calculated fighter. Woodley fights to win, whether it looks pretty or not is not on his radar. He only goes home with his title if he wins the fight, so he does everything in his power to make sure that happens.
Woodley is a fantastic wrestler with better hands than Usman. He’ll look to keep this fight standing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these fighters go toe-to-toe in a classic brawl. It’s not what Usman is known for and Woodley has moved away from that style of fighting in recent years. That’s exactly why we might see it.
Both champions will get their hands raised this Sunday night. We won’t see any titles change hands at UFC 235, but we will see plenty of action. Visit the BetUS Sportsbook ahead of fight time to place your bets on the most stacked UFC card we’ve seen in months.