UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith is the only man to have fought both Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. As such, he has some unique insight into the pair’s UFC 239 fight, which Jones won via narrow split decision — easily one of his least impressive performances of late.
Smith gave his thoughts on Jones’ UFC 239 performance during an appearance on MMA on Sirius XM.
He believes that we could be witnessing a change in the light heavyweight champion.
“He’s not evolving as fast as the game is anymore. And I think before, he was moving faster than the rest of the game and I don’t think that is the case anymore.” — @lionheartasmith on Jon Jones' performance at #UFC239@RJcliffordMMA @danhardymma pic.twitter.com/PMkCWJASDW
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) July 10, 2019
“I’m having a really hard time putting my finger on it,” Anthony Smith began. “I’m not sure what’s happening.
“Jon was so ahead of the game early in his career — he was kind of like a unicorn, he was just so much different. As the game evolves, I don’t want to say everybody’s catching up, but everybody’s catching up. I don’t know how else to say it. I think that there’s enough tape out there on Jon that he’s running out of new things that people haven’t seen. When he first blew up and he was just running through people, I believe he’s one of the people that you can credit with the evolution of the fight game.
“I think that he levelled up the game just in terms of his ability to think on the fly, and I think it opened up everyone’s eyes and everyone’s minds to new stuff, but eventually you’re going to run out of stuff.
“I think we’ve gotten to who Jon Jones is,” Anthony Smith concluded. “I think we’ve seen him run his course of what he’s doing, and I’m not saying he’s not going to get better or get more dangerous if he adds more wrinkles. I just think that he’s not evolving as fast as the game is anymore. And I think before, he was moving faster than the rest of the game and I don’t think that is the case anymore.”
What do you think of these comments from Anthony Smith?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/10/2019.