This Saturday, in the main event of UFC 235, Anthony Smith will attempt to wrest the UFC light heavyweight title from the waist of seemingly unbeatable champion Jon Jones.
Heading into this fight, Smith has been discounted by a wide portion of the MMA community — most notably the oddsmakers, who have him labelled as a massive underdog. And really, it’s understandable why. Jon Jones has shown himself to be one of the most versatile and dangerous fighters in MMA history.
That being said, Anthony Smith feels he is Jones’ better in one crucial department: Brazilian jiu jitsu.
“I’m okay with that,” Smith said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast (transcript via MMA News). “I love jiu jitsu and we talked about it before, I started out as a jiu jitsu guy. I never claimed that I’m some world-class striker, that’s everybody else. I’ve always said I’m a jiu jitsu guy at heart, that’s how I started. And I’m more than happy to get into a grappling battle with Jon. I think that Jon puts everything together really really well. He’s really smart, he makes really good decisions especially on the fly. But in a jiu jitsu match, I don’t think there’s a world that exists that Jon Jones beats me in jiu jitsu. It just doesn’t happen.”
Anthony Smith flaunted his jiu jitsu chops in his last fight, when he braved some early adversity to submit former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. He’s also defeated 10 other men by submission. That being said, you would not be faulted for assuming he is a knockout artist, as he’s finished a dizzying 17 opponents with strikes.
Do you think he can shock the world and finish Jon Jones this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/27/2019.