Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on Saturday night
Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on Saturday night, overcoming a two-point deduction for an illegal knee to Smiths head in the fourth round.
Jones (24-1) had little trouble in an expert display of his all-around brilliance against the overmatched Smith (31-14), who had no answers for the likely pound-for-pound champion of mixed martial arts. Jones dominated on his feet, against the cage and on the ground until he got in trouble in the fourth round when his knee struck Smiths head while the challenger was in a downed position. Referee Herb Dean deducted two points from Jones, who apologized to Smith after the bell.
This MMA thing is really hard, Jones said. Some days youre going to look amazing, and some days at work youre not going to perform at the level you hold yourself to.
Jones remains unbeaten since 2009, winning a decision for the fifth time in his last seven fights.
Jones has been the UFCs 205-pound champ for long stretches of the past eight years, but also has been stripped of his belt twice. After doping suspensions and other woes limited Jones to just two fights in a nearly four-year stretch of his prime, he returned to the cage at UFC 235 just nine weeks after beating Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 last December to reclaim his belt.
Elsewhere, Kamaru Usman claimed the UFC welterweight title in the penultimate bout at T-Mobile Arena, dominating Tyron Woodley in a one-sided unanimous decision victory. Woodley (19-4-1) had been the UFCs 170lbs champ since July 2016 and defended the belt four times, but Usman (15-1) got off to a quick start and never let up in his first career title shot. Usman celebrated in the cage with his daughter before his hand was raised in victory.
The 31-year-old Usman, a Nigerian-born Texan and former college wrestler, broke into the UFC in 2015 on its long-running competition reality show. He won his first eight UFC bouts and battered ex-champ Rafael Dos Anjos last November to earn his shot at Woodleys belt.
Cant nobody handle me, Usman said. Ive been wanting this fight, and Ill be honest, I might not be the best striker in the world. I might not be the best wrestler in the world. But when it comes to mixing this [stuff] up, Im the best in the world right now.
Usman won 50-44 on two cards and 50-45 on the third. I have no excuses, Woodley said. I was prepared for this fight. I would love to run it back again and put on a better performance.
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