UFC 235 is already looking like the best MMA event of the year. Two championship fights will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 3rd, while further down the card are a host of intriguing matchups featuring former champions and thrilling newcomers.
In the main event Jon Jones, widely regarded as one of the best martial artists of all time, will take on the somewhat less-heralded Anthony Smith.
Smith is ranked number 3 in the light heavyweight division with a record of 31 wins and 13 losses. Since moving up to light heavyweight last year he has scored three impressive victories, including first round knockout wins over former champions Rashad Evans and Maurício Rua. Nevertheless, a win over Jon Jones would be a huge upset and would immediately be seen as one of the biggest shocks in UFC history.
Value in Smith?
Betfair is offering just 1/9 on a Jones win, extremely short odds for a sport with so many ways to lose, and in which champions rarely stay champions for long. Anthony Smith is available at 11/2.
It seems increasingly likely that whatever the result, Jones’s time in the light heavyweight division is coming to a close. Long rumoured to be interested in challenging himself in a heavier weight class, this week he described a move up to heavyweight as “inevitable”.
Elsewhere in a packed card, Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is an 8/15 favourite over challenger Kamaru Usman, who is being offered at 6/4. Woodley’s training partner, UFC debutant, and former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren is a ⅖ favourite over previous UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.