Jon Jones Cruises to Victory, Kamaru Usman Dominates Tyron Woodley to Become Champion at UFC 235
UFC 235 was capped off by a pair of title fights that both resulted in lopsided outcomes with one champion defending and a new king being crowned.
In the main event, Jon Jones did everything short of stopping Anthony Smith to earn a unanimous decision in the headline fight from Las Vegas.
Jones made a quick turn around from his last fight this past December to return to action on Saturday night where he showed off a variety of weapons to dismantle Smith over five rounds.
It was an offensive showcase for Jones who peppered away at Smith throughout the first few rounds as he constantly picked his shots and then battered the former middleweight from head to toe with a series of striking techniques.
Smith was somewhat active early in trying to counter the attacks but as the fight moved forward, he struggled to do much of anything except defend whatever Jones was throwing at him.
It was an efficient game plan from Jones, who made it a point to hurt Smith everywhere he could from the kicks that bruised up his legs to spinning maneuvers that pounded the body and then a strong boxing game when he decided to go head hunting.
There was a scary moment in the fourth round when Jones unleashed a hellacious knee strike just as Smith was coming up from the canvas and immediately after it connected, referee Herb Dean stepped into pause the contest.
The knee strike was illegal because Smith’s hand was still down on the canvas but rather than take the disqualification win, he opted to move forward and allow the fight to continue.
From there it was just more of the same from Jones as he just continue to punish Smith throughout the final few minutes until the fight was finally over. The judges ultimately all saw the fight the same way with Jones earning the unanimous decision victory.
“Hats off to Anthony Smith, I know why they call him Lion Heart,” Jones said after the fight was finished. “I have never had someone talk to me while I’m hitting them, it was amazing, this guy is so durable, he’s like the terminator.
“He did a great job, I’m so proud of his career, he had his ups and downs and now he’s here, he’s amazing and a true inspiration.”
As far as what comes next, Jones isn’t ready to commit to anything just yet, although UFC president Dana White mentioned at the post fight press conference that he likes the idea of Brazilian slugger Thiago Santos getting the next shot at the title.
KAMARU USMAN EARNS LOPSIDED WIN OVER TYRON WOODLEY
Kamaru Usman saw his dream realized on Saturday night with a completely one-sided performance to take the welterweight title from Tyron Woodley in the UFC 235 co-main event.
It was a lopsided contest from start to finish as Usman just imposed his will over and over again with Woodley looking lost as the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner punished him from bell to bell over five rounds.
Usman set the pace in the opening round by immediately pressuring Woodley against the cage where he started to showcase his wrestling attacks combined with a nasty dirty boxing game.
The Nigerian native brutalized Woodley with shots to the body and then going back up top to the head with several stinging shots. Perhaps his best strike in the early going was an elbow that cracked Woodley as Usman continued to press forward and then dragging him to the mat.
Despite Woodley having the best takedown defense in UFC history, he was unable to stop Usman from planting him on the ground several times including a huge slam in the second round that ended with him mounted.
Usman’s relentless pace didn’t slow down over all five rounds as Woodley’s corner kept begging him to walk forward so he could attack the challenger. Instead, Woodley found himself pinned against the cage with Usman battering him with a constant barrage of punches and takedowns that never gave him a minute to breathe.
Late in the fourth round, Usman came within a few punches of finishing the fight after he stunned Woodley with a combination that had the veteran welterweight in survival mode.
To his credit, Woodley dug deep to stave off the onslaught but Usman was just racking up points on the judges’ scorecards when the final horn rang out in the T-Mobile Arena.
When the fight was finally over, there was no doubt about who was the winner as Usman held his hands up high after being crowned the new UFC welterweight champion with scores of 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 all in his favor.
“I’m going to be honest. I might not be the best striker in the world. I might not be the best pure wrestler in the world. But when it comes to mixing this s—t up, I’m the f—king best welterweight on the planet right now,” Usman said in celebration.
As for the now former champion, Woodley offered no excuses for his defeat, although he’s holding out hope that he’ll get a second shot at Usman one day soon.
“I have no excuses. I was prepared for this fight,” Woodley said. “It’s just sometimes you have those nights where it feels like a bad dream. Hopefully we can run this back. This was my fifth title defense, I would love to run it back with him.”