UFC light-heavyweight contender Anthony Smith feels he should’ve performed better against Jon Jones.
‘Lionheart’ and ‘Bones’ faced off in March 2019 at UFC 235. The bout was the biggest of Smith’s career. While he was previously an unranked gatekeeper at 185 pounds, his move to light-heavyweight the prior year had him positioned as one of the best in the weight class.
In the main event, the-then champion dominated. He wound up facing little threat from Smith, ultimately winning by a lopsided decision after five rounds. Jones was close to losing his title in the fourth round, but due to an illegal knee. Smith bravely chose to fight on, instead of winning the championship by disqualification.
Nearly four years on from that fight, Anthony Smith still has some regrets, as he explained on Morning Kombat’s Room Service Diaries. During the interview, the contender gave a bit of a hot take on Jon Jones. That take is that he’s not that good.
While that sounds like he’s belittling the former champion, he’s not. If anything, Smith explained how impressive it is that Jones hasn’t lost, bar disqualification, in his career. Despite not being a specialist, or having the highest fight IQ, he’s undefeated. He’s not great at any one thing but blends everything together so well.
Despite that, Smith still feels he could’ve beaten Jones, and feels that he just fell flat on that night in 2019.
“If I get beat fair and square, and it’s just you were better that night, I’m okay with that. The Glover [Teixeira] fight doesn’t even bother me. I don’t even think about it, I’ve never lost sleep over it… I just didn’t show up, and Jon Jones is beatable, is very beatable,” stated Smith during the interview. “I’m gonna get roasted online for this but, he’s not that good.”
He continued, “Not individually. If you take his individual skill sets and you take them away, each one of those things are not a problem. It’s when you put it together, and he puts it into the full package it’s the problem. His fight IQ is not crazy high, he’s well-coached and he does what he’s told, very, very well… And that’s a credit to him. I’m not saying it as a negative, I don’t think it’s a negative. He’s a dog for sure.”
“If you take his boxing, if me and Jon were to just box, I don’t think he’s the GOAT. Like I think we have a very competitive striking match. If we’re just doing no-gi jiu-jitsu, like I don’t think Jon Jones beats me. Wrestling, he probably wins that. But it’s not the individual skill set that he has, it’s the way he puts it together.”
Despite not fighting in over two years, Jon Jones remains one of the biggest names in the sport. Luckily for fans, his time away seems to be coming to an end. Recent reports indicate that Jones could face Francis Ngannou or Curtis Blaydes in his return early next year.
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