Hot on the heels of his return at UFC 232 and title-earning win against Alexander Gustafsson, Jon Jones intends to face Anthony Smith at UFC 235.
Jon Jones recently stated he planned on fighting three times in 2019, and it appears he isn’t wasting any time getting started. According to a report by TMZ, Jones will face Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in March. While the fight isn’t necessarily a done deal, the outlet cites none other than UFC President Dana White, who says Jones will apply for a fight license with Nevada shortly.
Jones of course, was unable to get a license on short notice for UFC 232 after “picograms” of turinabol metabolites turned up in multiple drug tests with USADA. The doping agency, which handles the UFC’s Anti-Doping program, believes those tests to be the result of “pulses” stemming from leftover trace amounts of Jones’ original positive test following UFC 214. Since Nevada declined to license Jones, the card was moved to California. Jones would go on to finish Gustafsson to reclaim the light heavyweight championship.
“Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure [sic] with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd,” TMZ quoted White as saying. “Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his Light Heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a 5 round main event at the T-Mobile Arena.”
Jones (23–1, 1NC) recently dropped a pretty big hint on social media that he was fighting Smith next, which you can see below.
Smith (31–13), for his part, had been looking for some time off following UFC Moncton, where he defeated Volkan Oezdemir. However there’s no doubt he’d be lured out of that for a shot at the light heavyweight title.