UFC 235 Preview & Betting Tips
The T-Mobile Arena will be hosting UFC 235 as newly crowned light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones Jones defends his title against Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.
Another mouthwatering matchup, which is sure to impress, is Tyron Woodley taking on Kamaru Usman. Welterweight champion Woodley will be putting his title on the line against one of the more devastating fighters in the division. Kamaru didn’t get the nickname ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ for nothing.
3 Key Points
- - Jon Jones’ only loss in the UFC came by Disqualification
- - Jon Jones has defended 95% of takedown attempts
- - Anthony Smith is undefeated in the Light Heavyweight division (3-0)
Jon Jones (23-1-0) vs. Anthony Smith (31-13-0) – Light Heavyweight Title fight
Jon Jones long-awaited return to the Octagon came in an impressive UFC 232 bout earning him the light heavyweight title in the process. He knows defends his belt against upstart Anthony Smith who is a masterful knockout artist in the Octagon.
Anthony Smith has a tough ask ahead of him in his fourth bout in the weight class. Smith’s best chance will come from an early and often approach. Firing on Jones looking to put him out of rhythm will be the only way Smith can cause an upset. Smith’s ability in the clinch usually causes problems for his opponents, but Jones is quite talented in close quarters so Smith will need to think a little craftier to truly deliver some damage.
Jones has the second chance of a lifetime and will be surely locked in for this fight to make a statement. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest to have ever graced the octagon. Jones’ incorporation of lateral movement to keep Smith at bay, coupled with an understanding of how Smith will be angling his strikes as the fight goes on will be the key. What Jones lacks in pocket boxing shouldn’t trouble him too much in this fight. But every dog has his day and Jones should be mindful that he wouldn’t want to trade too early and often with Smith.
It’s hard to see anything other than a Jones knockout.
Tyron Woodley (19-3-1) vs. Kamaru Usman (13-1-0)
The co-main event of the evening promises to be an outright battle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it win fight of the night honours. Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley faces the ruthless Kamaru Usman.
UFC 235 sees Woodley’s fifth scheduled championship defence. Woodley has six wins and one draw in his last seven outings.
Usman holds an impeccable nine-from-nine record since entering the UFC and 13 straight!
Woodley’s reign as the Welterweight champion has been defined by his high motor and quick closing speed. He is by far and away one of the best athletes in the UFC. His right hand isn’t used as often as other fighters but it can cause serious damage when used with his technical striking game.
Usman’s style is predicated on a swarming dominance and a sound wrestling game. Woodley won’t be able to simply overmatch Usman athletically as he is used to doing. Usman will need to be wary of the champ’s counter punching as he may walk head first into a heavy right if he’s not careful.
As under respected as Woodley is as a fighter, I think Usman’s odds in this bout offer great value. He should be priced closer to a $2.30* underdog.