Jon Jones dominates Anthony Smith, wins decision to retain UFC light heavyweight championship

It was a procession for Jon Jones as he dominated his way to defending his UFC light heavyweight championship against Anthony Smith.

Jones was both calculated and violent, picking Smith apart with an array of kicks, elbows and punches in close and at range.

Smith was tough as you would expect, really living up to his “Lionheart” moniker. He withstood some particularly heavy punishment in the fourth round, surviving a crunching elbow to the nose and its resulting onward pressure.

Lionheart also fought on despite receiving a knee flush to the head while he was a downed an opponent. Lesser men or women would have taken that as an out, wanting to take a DQ win. But Smith resumed the fight as Jones was docked two points by referee Herb Dean for his infraction.

Jones coasted the rest of the way to a dominant decision win which saw all three judged score the contest 48-44 in his favour.

“Bones” looks every inch the dominant light heavyweight champion he was before his time away from the sport and we could see him in the Octagon very soon as he emerges unscathed.

As for Smith, this will be a big learning opportunity for a fighter who hit form later in his career.


Kamaru Usman dethrones Tyron Woodley, winning the UFC welterweight title

It’s hard to remember a UFC title challenger and underdog dominating such a respected champion over five rounds.

In the lead-up to fight week, many fans and MMA media were billing Tyron Woodley as one of the promotion’s greatest ever welterweight champions, but Kamaru Usman put paid to that.

“The Nigerian Nightmare” is the perfect fighter nickname befitting Usman. He absolutely smothered Woodley for all five rounds.

Usman dictated wherever the fight went, landing some solid strikes to back Woodley up and grind against him on the cage and on the floor.

The work rate displayed by Usman was impressive. He never stopped thumping away at Woodley’s midriff while in the clinch or while mauling him on the ground.

In the fifth, Woodley had to dig in deep into his reserves of heart and energy as he was rocked by a number of Usman punches.

Woodley survived, but it was nowhere near enough to ruin Usman’s night. Usman was rightly rewarded the unanimous decision and took very little damage in the process, despite facing one of the division’s most dangerous men to ever step into the cage.


Ben Askren wins his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler in controversial circumstances

It wouldn’t be Ben Askren’s UFC debut if there wasn’t some controversy involved.

Askren was awarded the technical submission win over the ever-durable, ever-dangerous Robbie Lawler in the first round, but referee Herb Dean appeared to have made a grave mistake.

Lawler went very, very close to finishing Askren in the first round’s early stages.

Askren initiated the clinch as he always wants, but Lawler scooped his foe up and slammed him on his head.

From there, Lawler landed some horrific ground and pound which Dean could have easily called the fight off for.

But Askren clung onto consciousness and somehow survived Lawler’s fury on the floor.

Recovered, Askren eventually got Lawler down to the floor with a slick trip and took his opponent’s back.

As Lawler bucked to escape, Lawler took his back and with one arm in, applied a nasty-looking bulldog choke.

While it was unclear whether said bulldog choke was under the chin or was simply just crushing Lawler’s jaw, Iowan Lawler was adjudged to have lost consciousness by Dean, who quickly waved off the fight.

As the fighters emerged from the position, Lawler was clearly still in the fight and immediately protested Dean’s decision.

This fight left more questions than answers. The record will show that Askren won his UFC debut against a former champion and one of the toughest men to ever do it, but the result will rightly be questioned for legitimacy.


UFC 235: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith full results

Light Heavyweight championship: Jon Jones (c) defeats Anthony Smith by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight championship: Kamaru Usman defeats Tyron Woodley (c) by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Ben Askren defeats Robbie Lawler by technical submission (bulldog choke) at 3:20 of round one
Women’s Strawweight: Weili Zhang defeats Tecia Torres by unanimous decision after three rounds
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz defeats Cody Garbrandt by KO (punches) at 4:52 of round one
Featherweight: Zabit Magomedsharipov defeats Jeremy Stephens by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker defeats Misha Cirkunov by TKO (flying knee and punches) at 0:36 of round one
Bantamweight: Cody Stamann defeats Alejandro Perez by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Diego Sanchez defeats Mickey Gall by TKO (punches) at 4:13 of round two
Middleweight: Edmen Shahbazyan defeats Charles Byrd by TKO (elbows and punches) at 0:38 of round one
Women’s Bantamweight: Macy Chiasson defeats Gina Mazany by TKO (punches) at 1:49 of round one
Women’s Strawweight: Hannah Cifers defeats Polyana Viana by split decision after three rounds