UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith
UFC 235: Jones versus Smith was held on March 2, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. A UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between two time champion Jon Jones and challenger Anthony Smith headlined the event. In addition, the UFC Welterweight Championship bout between current champion Tyron Woodley and The Ultimate Fighter Welterweight winner Kamaru Usman was the co-headliner.
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UFC 235 also marked the UFC debut of former Bellator Welterweight World Champion and former ONE Welterweight Champion, Ben Askren, who took on former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler. This fight was supposed to headline the UFC 233 event, which was to take place on January 26, 2019, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Ca, but was rescheduled when the entire UFC 233 event was cancelled.
Jon Jones defeats Anthony Smith
In the main event, Jon Jones defeated Anthony Smith in dominating fashion, winning a unanimous decision (48-44, 48-44, and 48-44). Throughout the fight, Jones was able to land punches and kicks as well as utilize his clinch work and take downs. Jones (24-1) had relatively little trouble with Anthony "Lionheart" Smith (31-14), who was coming off of three fantastic wins over Volkan Oezdemir (via Rear-Naked Choke submission), Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via Elbow Knockout, and Rashad Evans via Knockout by Knee. Jones had little trouble in the fight, except for the fourth round, when he landed a knee to the head of the "Lionheart" when he was down on one knee. When the illegal strike happened, Referee Herb Dean stopped the action, watched the replay, and took two points from Jones.
Usman Takes Title from Woodley
Former Ultimate Fighter winner Kamaru Usman defeated Tyron Woodley to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, and 50-45). He mixed up his punches with takedowns and ground and pound to dominate the former champion. In the fifth round, while winning by a large margin, Usman was able to rock Woodley and almost knock him out with a flurry of punches to the head.
Askren Wins by Controversial Submission
Former Bellator Champion and 2008 Wrestling Olympian, Ben Askren, was victorious in his UFC debut when he submitted former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler with a bulldog choke at 3:20 of the first round. This was a controversial stoppage as Lawler's arm appeared to go limp during the choke, and referee Herb Dean stopped the fight. However, immediately after the stoppage, Robbie protested that he was not out from the submission. Prior to the stoppage, Robbie almost had his own stoppage of Askren, when he slammed Askren to the cage floor, and unloaded a series of powerful punches and elbows. Askren was able to survive the onslaught, getting back to his feet, and tripping Lawler to the mat, which set up the sequence for the fight ending choke.
UFC 235 Notable Fights
Other notable fights at UFC 235 included former UFC Bantamweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt losing a short but thrilling fight to former Resurrection Fighting Alliance champion Pedro Munhoz, when he was TKO at 4:52 of the first round. This exciting slug fest won the Fight of the Night honors to both fighters. Munhoz has now won has last three fights in the UFC, since losing to John Dodson by split decision at UFC 222 in March, 2018.
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Zabit Magomedsharipov continued his winning ways by winning his 13th consecutive bout when he defeated veteran Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision in the main event of the prelims. Additionally, Brazilian fighter Johnny Walker picked up the Performance of the Night bonus by landing a flying knee knockout of Misha Cirkunov. Walker has now won all three of his UFC fights by knockout (TKO by flying knee, TKO by spinning back fist, and Knockout by Elbow). The other Performance of the Night was awarded to long time UFC veteran , 37 years old Diego Sanchez, who put on a dominating second round stoppage of Mickey Gall. Gall was able to come out aggressive in the first round with powerful punches, but seemed to tire, as Sanchez was able to take him down and apply relentless top pressure and ground and pound to force referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight at 4:13 of the second round.
UFC 235 Bonus Awards
Pedro Munhoz versus Cody Garbrandt received the Fight of the Night Bonus, and Jonny Walker and Diego Sanchez each won the Performance of the Night Bonus Awards- each fighters receiving $50,000 bonuses for their efforts.
UFC 235 Fight Results:
Jon Jones def. Anthony Smith Decision (unanimous)
Kamaru Usman def. Tyron Woodley Decision (unanimous)
Ben Askren def. Robbie Lawler Technical Submission (bulldog choke)
Weili Zhang def. Tecia Torres Decision (unanimous)
Pedro Munhoz def. Cody Garbrandt KO (punches)
Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Jeremy Stephens Decision (unanimous)
Johnny Walker def. Misha Cirkunov TKO (flying knee and punches)
Cody Stamann def. Alejandro Pérez Decision (unanimous)
Diego Sanchez def. Mickey Gall TKO (punches)
Early Preliminary Card
Edmen Shahbazyan def. Charles Byrd TKO (elbows and punches)
Macy Chiasson def. Gina Mazany TKO (punches)
Hannah Cifers def. Polyana Viana Decision (split)