Anthony Smith has been on a roll since moving up to light heavyweight. First, he had quick knockouts over former champions in Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua. Then, he submitted Volkan Oezdemir in the main event of UFC Moncton in October.
That third win set Smith up for a title shot at UFC 235 against arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Jon Jones.
Many are counting out Smith in this fight, believing Jones is simply on another level.
Well, according to Smith’s last opponent in Volkan Oezdemir, Jones will have to finish Smith early if he wants to win.
“I think I’m still going to have to go with Jones but Anthony Smith is a surprising fighter,” Oezdemir said to TheBodyLock. “He’s durable and I think that’s one of his weapons — a way he’s going to upset everybody with Jon Jones.
“He’s still there, he has tons of experience, a lot of long fights, and a lot of success and knockouts in the later rounds. Somebody you need to finish really quick and that’s something Jon Jones will have to do.”
Oezdemir had some early success in his fight with Smith, even winning the first round. However, he couldn’t put him away and the ‘durable’ Smith bounced back and dominated round two and got a submission win.
Ultimately, it is a fight and anybody can win. Jones’ camp knows they can’t take Smith lightly as he has shown knockout power and submission chops in the past.
Do you agree with Volkan Oezdemir that Jon Jones will need to finish Anthony Smith early to win the fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/11/2019.