Per Best Fight Odds, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has opened as a significant betting favorite against underdog Anthony Smith for their upcoming planned title bout. He's expected to appear before the commission on January 29. Smith and Jones shared an awkward exchange after UFC 232 where Smith was working as a studio analyst for FS1 and seemingly called out Jones for his shot at a title fight.
Fresh of his light heavyweight title win at UFC 232 on December 29, Jon Jones is already setting up his first title defense.
He said: "Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd". He last fought Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, emerging victorious with a TKO in three rounds.
While experts were in agreement that the small amounts were nearly certainly residual from his previous positive tests, Nevada regulators wouldn't have been able to license Jones after the result without an emergency hearing. Obviously, this championship bout will not be official until after the results of that hearing. Instead, the UFC chose to move the event to The Forum in Inglewood, as Jones already had a license to fight in California.
The UFC light heavyweight champion is expected to make his next title defense against rising prospect Anthony Smith. He surged into title contention in 2018 by finishing Rashad Evans, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Volkan Oezdemir.
Finishing out the events Fight Pass prelims portion, British prospect Nathaniel Wood improved to 2-0 under the UFC banner with a third-round rear-naked choke win against Andre Ewell.
Jones Vs Smith would headline a UFC 235 card that is now also expected to feature a major welterweight fight as Robbie Lawler welcomes Ben Askren to the Octagon, while Jeremy Stephens fights Zabit Magomedsharipov and Ovince Saint Preux goes up against Misha Cirkunov.