Jon Jones set to defend light-heavyweight title against Anthony Smith at UFC 235
Jon Jones is already looking to make good on his vow to ‘kick the s*** out of 2019’ by stepping right back into the octagon to face Anthony Smith at UFC 235.
‘Bones’ dominated Alexander Gustafsson to reclaim the light-heavyweight title on December 29 last year and has his next opponent lined up for March 2 in Las Vegas.
The short turnaround is not an issue for Jones, who is raring to go following his doping suspension and a career littered with enforced inactivity.
Jon Jones (pictured) is set to take on Anthony Smith and defend his light-heavyweight belt
Jones dismantled Alexander Gustafsson at the end of last year and wants three fights this year
UFC president Dana White confirmed that the 31-year-old will headline the T-Mobile Arena event pending the Nevada State Athletic Comission accepting the bout.
‘Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd,’ he told TMZ.
‘Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his light-heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a 5 round main event at the T-Mobile Arena.’
The NSAC denied Jones the chance to fight in Las Vegas on 2018’s end of year card, prompting the UFC to move the clash to Los Angeles on short notice.
Jones tested positive for small traces of the anabolic steroid Turinabol just days before UFC 232 and a hearing could not be convened in time. The California State Athletic Commission ruled in his favour, surmising that the trace amounts in his body remained from a previous positive test.
When the NSAC meet this time they are anticipated to reach the same conclusion.
Smith’s stock is rising in the UFC but he will come in against Jones as a heavy underdog
Jones recently posted on his Instagram page, outlining his plans for the upcoming year in no uncertain terms.
He wrote: ‘I’m going to get with my team and keep the cerebral game rolling as well. I’m mapping out the year ahead and I’m absolutely going to kick the s*** out of 2019.
‘I want to fight 3 times this year and leave zero doubt of my dominance as a champion. I’m going to do this because that’s what my passion dictates, but it’s also what you fans deserve.’
Jones vs Smith will generate huge interest on a card already taking shape with a number of high profile fights.
Robbie Lawlor and Ben Askren will face off and Jeremy Stephens is scheduled to take on Zabit Magomedsharipov.
After the emphatic end to last year, Jones spoke of his desire to: ‘Kick the s*** out of 2019’