UFC 235 Round Table: Anthony Smith’s Chances, Who Takes FOTN?

Ben Askren, UFC 235
Ben Askren ahead of UFC 235 Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

With UFC 235, the world’s premiere MMA promotion has built a truly stellar card. But the main event, arguably, is just a little lopsided, while Ben Askren has been given a considerable test in his inaugural UFC outing.

It’s hard to find fault in UFC 235. A stacked, fan-friendly card. Two title fights, in which matchmakers chose opponents based on merit, not money. The debut of Ben Askren, who dominated in Bellator MMA and ONE Championship. Hardcore fans will have Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov to drool over.

No, nothing to complain about, but plenty to talk about! Let’s have at it.


3. Does Anthony Smith have more than a snowball’s chance in hell to upset Jon Jones?

Josh Evanoff: I’ve always personally been a believer in Anthony Smith’s abilities against Jones. He has many good attributes such as length, a good ground game, and some good knockout power too. Will he upset Jones? Who knows. But he stands as good of a shot as anyone, and might be more of a challenge than Gustafsson at 232. Regardless of your feelings towards his chances, Smith absolutely deserves this shot. Dominating two former champions and then beating the former number one contender absolutely deserves respect. More respect than he’s getting as a 12-1 underdog.

Joe McDonagh: Yes and No. I will be completely honest in saying I have a grudge towards Jones as many do. But in being a writer in the MMA community I am completely aware that Jones is the most physically gifted and talented fighter ever. I actually have respect for him for fighting Smith, not waiting on a super fight. Smith is talented and legitimate in his power but has never faced a guy like Jon Jones, so yes he is being thrown to the wolves in a sense, but can 100% win this fight and shock the world if Jones underestimates him.

Jay Anderson: Jones has talent. Smith has heart. How many times have we seen a fighter with heart overcome the odds? So yes, more than a snowball’s chance in hell. Still picking Jones to win though.

Dan Doherty: It’s MMA so everyone has a chance, but this is a good fighter in Anthony Smith against one of the greatest talents of all time in Jon Jones. Smith is tough and has real power, but I just don’t see where or how he beats Jones.

Heath Harshman: Any professional fighter in any MMA fight has a chance. But Smith doesn’t have a very big one. He’s got power, he’s durable, and has been on a great run. So there’s that. It’s just hard to envision Smith being the guy that finally unlocks Jones, while guys like Cormier and Gus failed on multiple occasions.

Mike McClory: There is always the punchers chance in any fight and Smith could catch Jones. While I think it’s unlikely there is definitely a chance.