UFC 235 is set to have Jon Jones and Tyron Woodley defend their belts against Anthony Smith and Kamaru Usman

UFC 235 is looking set to be a big event in the promotion’s first quarter of 2019.

Scheduled to take place on March 2nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Jon Jones is expected to defend his recently reclaimed UFC light heavyweight gold against knockout artist Anthony Smith.

Meanwhile, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley’s next title defence will be against Kamaru Usman at the event.

This will be a quick turnaround of fights for Jones, who is looking to stay active in 2019 after a long layoff due to USADA violations.

Jones won back his belt against foe Alexander Gustafsson at the end of December at UFC 232 by TKO.

Smith’s last outing saw him submit Volkan Oezdemir, extending his three-fight run of finishes.

As for the Woodley – Usman announcement, this ends months of speculation of who the reigning champion’s next opponent will be as Usman and Colby Covington, the division’s former interim champion, vied for the coveted position as title contender.

The former was confirmed by MMA Junkie, the latter by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani earlier today.

Usman will be Woodley’s fifth title defence since dethroning former teammate Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 back in July 2016.

The pair have been embroiled in some Twitter beef of late, prompting the UFC to book the fight.

Woodley’s last defence saw him submit Darren Till with a D’Arce choke at UFC 228. Usman is riding a 13-fight win streak, having defeated former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos last time out.

 

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.