Main Event – Jones vs Smith
Jon Jones‘ resounding greatness was once again on display Saturday night at UFC 235 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones (24-1, 1 NC) successfully defended his light heavyweight title against the dangerous Anthony Smith (31-14) via unanimous decision. The victory came in dominant fashion, with all three of the judges scoring the contest 48-44 in favor of Jones. However, similar to Jon Jones’ entire career, the victory did not come without controversy.
In the fourth round of the light heavyweight title fight, Jones landed an unintentional illegal knee on the side of Smith’s head. The referee momentarily stopped the bout to review the replay. Cage-side doctors came in to evaluate Smith and to determine if he was still fit to fight. Smith valiantly told the doctors he was okay to continue, and the fight continued, but with the referee taking away two points from Jones on the judges’ scorecards.
After the fight, Smith was asked about the illegal knee and why he did not claim that he was unfit to fight, hence giving him the victory via disqualification:
“I said from the beginning I wanted to win the title, and I know as well as anyone that I could’ve sat there and taken the DQ win,” Smith said. “[But] I want to win it, I don’t want to steal it, you know?”
Despite all of the controversy, Jones still dominated every minute of every round, from start to finish. This victory put Jones tied for the most consecutive fights without a loss in UFC history (16), tied for the second most title fight wins in UFC history (12), most wins in UFC light heavyweight history (18), most significant strikes landed in UFC light heavyweight history (1,300), and the highest takedown defense in UFC history (95%).
Jones out-landed Smith in total strikes; 238 to 45 and in significant strikes; 125 to 36. Jones also secured three out of eight takedown attempts, with Smith failing to secure any takedowns throughout the fight.
Co-Main Event – Woodley vs Usman
The co-main event of UFC 235 featured a welterweight title bout of Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) losing his title via unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman (15-1). Similar to Jones, Usman dominated every minute of every round, with two judges scoring the contest 50-44 and one judge scoring the contest 50-45.
The outcome came as a surprise to many, as Woodley was riding a seven-fight unbeaten streak, dating back to 2014, with five of these victories being title fights. Usman, on the other hand, had made his UFC debut in 2015, and had underwhelmingly won seven of the nine UFC fights prior to Woodley via unanimous decision, with only two of his UFC victories coming via finish.
Additionally, entering the bout, Woodley possessed the highest takedown defense in UFC history (97%). Usman secured two of six takedown attempts, giving Woodley just a 66% takedown defense in the fight. Woodley failed to secure a takedown during the fight. Usman out-landed Woodley in total strikes; 336 to 60 and also out-landed Woodley in significant strikes; 141 to 34.
This victory makes Usman the first African-born UFC champion in history. With the victory, Usman also remains undefeated since entering the UFC.