UFC 235 went down last night in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card featured two title fights, as Jon Jones sought to defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith and Tyron Woodley put his welterweight title on the line against Kamaru Usman. Additionally, Ben Askren finally made his long-awaited UFC debut, taking on former UFC champ Robbie Lawler.
Here is what we would like to see next for the stars of UFC 235.
Jon Jones has stated he wants to remain active this year and fight three or four times. Well, he has now gotten his first fight and defense out of the way.
Now, the question remains as to whether or not Jones moves up to heavyweight for a trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier or stays at light heavyweight to continue to defend his belt.
A fight that makes sense is taking on Thiago Santos who, like Smith, has looked dominant since moving up to 205. Santos posses legitimate one punch knockout power so it would be interesting to see if Jones could avoid the power shot.
At UFC 235, Anthony Smith was set for his first title defense and said he was going to shock the world. Although Smith did not win the fight, he showed incredible durability and heart to go the distance with Jones. He also could have accepted a DQ win after an illegal knee, but post-fight said he wanted to win the belt, not ‘steal it.’
Now, a logical next fight for him is against Alexander Gustafsson. The UFC is heading back to Sweden on June 1, and that could serve as a possible headliner. Both Smith and Gustafsson need to get back on track and get a win in their next fight.
Kamaru Usman did what he said he was going to. He said he was going to outpace Woodley and out-wrestle him. Usman put the pressure on Woodley from the get-go and became the new welterweight champion.
For Usman’s first title defense, the only fight that makes sense is taking on former interim champion Colby Covington. UFC President Dana White said that is the fight that will happen, so possibly in the summer the two can finally settle their score.
Tyron Woodley was talking about himself as the greatest welterweight ever. While he certainly deserves consideration in that debate, he’s definitely hit a speed bump.
Woodley said he is going to stay at welterweight until he can get his belt back and then move up to 185. If that is indeed the plan, a fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio makes sense for his next outing. Ponzinibbio is in the top-10 and a win could put Woodley back in the title picture.
At UFC 235, Ben Askren was set for his long-awaited UFC debut. For his first fight he had to face former champion, Robbie Lawler. Early on in the fight, Lawler slammed Askren and it appeared the fight was close to being stopped. Yet ultimately, Askren came back and scored a controversial submission win in his UFC debut.
For Askren’s next fight he should fight the winner of Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal.
Robbie Lawler was set for a tough task in welcoming Ben Askren to the UFC. The former UFC welterweight had some early success but ended up getting submitted in the first. Now, a fight against the loser of Till vs Masvidal makes sense. It adds up from a ranking standpoint, and Lawler matches up beautifully with both fighters. Fireworks guaranteed.
What do you think should be next for the stars of UFC 235?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/3/2019.