Video Credits: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship via YouTube
Strap in for UFC 235, it’s around the corner and gosh it is a good one. Dana White has laid on an absolute belter of a fight card for us, the fans to enjoy.
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones failed to get a license to fight at UFC 232 after picogram traces (an analogy he continuously used was a pinch of salt into an Olympic sized swimming pool) of the banned M3 steroid were found in his system, he is now back to face a huge underdog in Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith (6/1).
Bookmakers don’t have this fight going to the championship rounds, expect a knockout in under two they say, only 3 of Smith’s 41 professional fights have gone the distance.
Let’s not jump to the main event just yet as the first title fight of the night is a blinder, the whole card is in fact stacked.
Looking to defend his welterweight belt for the fifth time is Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley (19-3-1) who has not been beaten in five years up against the unbeaten Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman (14-1-0) currently on a 13-fight winning streak, victorious in all of his UFC outings (9).
Woodley has strangely been the betting underdog in almost all of his title defences, even though he is one of the longest reigning title holders in the UFC today, so maybe rightly feels a lack of respect will be addressed by looking to knockout ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’
Everyone will remember Woodley for his first fight (UFC 205) against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson but their rematch was branded as the worst title fight in UFC history. Let’s be honest it was bad but not the worst ever, that accolade goes to Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia (UFC 112). I would say YouTube it, don’t you’ve got better things to do with your time.
This fight started to become a rivalry at the pre-fight presser with Tyron asking the question, “Who have you fought?” this went back and forth for a while entertaining all the viewers that tuned in. I think it’s fair to say there will be no love lost between these two come fight night.
Usman has climbed the ranks with his wrestling skills as his primary weapon of choice, dominating every grappling contest. However, Woodley is a step up in class, not your average Joe, he (Woodley) has arguably the best takedown defence currently in the UFC as witnessed by Demian Maia who failed repeatedly with a whopping 21 attempts.
The pressing question that will be answered is: Can Usman ground and pound Tyron?
It may become a mismatch on the feet as Woodley’s power requires only one punch to bring an end to ‘The Nigerian Nightmares’ dreams of holding the belt.
Let’s continue to dive into the card that continues to give with Robbie ‘Ruthless’ Lawler vs Ben ‘Funky’ Askren.
Askren publicly stated that he would never fight for Dana. This resulted in a war of words over Twitter and Dana childishly blocking Askren! We now find ourselves here at UFC 235 with Askren about to make his UFC debut, funny old world.
Askren has come out of retirement after dominating the One FC championship in Asia, he now has his chance to prove to the world and himself he deserves to be on the main stage, holding a professional record of 18-0, he is now taking a step into the premier league of fighters.
It was looking like for a few years, he might be one of the worlds best mixed martial artists to never compete in the UFC, finally, we get to see what he’s made of, his style of fighting though has kept the wear and tear off his body as he is extremely skilled at evading strikes.
Lawler a savage knockout artist known for his counter punches and power kicks will jump on his opponent and attack with ferocity if he smells blood.
He possesses the heart of a lion and not too long ago ruled the division until The Chosen One knocked him out, regardless he has a never give up attitude, late in a fight he can attack as if the bell just rang.
A fabulous match up with not many being able to call a winner. A win for Askren will legitimize his career and surely set him up for a title fight most likely at another weight class unless one of his closest friends Tyron Woodley loses, as the closest of friends have vowed they will not fight under any circumstance.
Now to the main event of the evening Jon ‘Bones’ Jones (23-1) vs Anthony Smith (31-13), the biggie, the main man, le grand fromage. Jones is the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world and will look to defend his light heavyweight belt and if the bookies are anything to go by then this will be a fairly easy task.
This isn’t a mismatch rather a man (Smith) chasing a dream, unfortunately, the guy standing in the way of that dream is Jones. For the time being it doesn’t look like anyone will be able to match the unstoppable power and accuracy of Jones. Daniel Cormier, highly regarded as one of the best ever and surely a future Hall of Famer, twice tried and failed to get one over on his arch rival.
Jones is aiming to fight four times in 2019 and recently was quoted saying "The UFC could use some big-name fighters being active. I feel like I'm the guy to do that. Khabib [Nurmagomedov]is dealing with [suspension], Conor [McGregor] is dealing with his time off. We lost Ronda [Rousey]. Georges St-Pierre just retired. I feel I'm one of the bigger names, and it's good for business to be active."
And he’s right, he is the man to add a bit of glamour back into the UFC. Jones has taken class A drugs, PEDs, got caught, was suspended, yet he is still considered to be a favourite amongst UFC fans. You will always get a show with Jones even though you can be pretty sure of the outcome.
Is there an upset on the cards? I for one can’t wait to find out and see these top MMA fighters step into the Octagon on Sunday.