Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith: Fight Breakdown

This Saturday, on March 2 in the main event of UFC 235, Jon Jones defends his UFC Light Heavyweight championship against Anthony Smith. We look at the numbers behind these two fighters to determine who is most likely to come away with the victory come Saturday night.

Jon Jones

 

(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Age: 31

Height: 6’4

Reach: 84.5 inches

Born: Rochester, New york

Fighting out of: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Gym: JacksonWink

Record: 23-1, 1 NC (17-1, 1 NC in UFC)

Notable wins: Rashad Evans, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Daniel Cormier

 

Statistics

10 wins via knockout/tko

6 win via submission

4.43 Significant strikes landed/ minute

55% striking accuracy

2.11 strikes absorbed/ minute

65% striking defense

2.09 takedowns landed per 15 minutes

48% takedown accuracy

95% takedown defense accuracy

Average Fight time: 13:58

 

Fun Facts

Gaidojutsu Black Belt (since October 2013) under Greg Jackson

Professional debut: April 2008

Coached Season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter

Tested positive for clomiphene and letrozole in 2015

 

Anthony Smith

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Age: 31

Height: 6’4

Reach: 84.5 inches

Born: Corpus Christi, Texas

Fighting out of: Omaha, Nebraska

Gym: Factory X

Record: 31-13 (7-3 in UFC)

Notable wins: Hecotr Lombard, Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans, Volkan Oezdemir

 

Statistics

17 wins via knockout/tko

11 win via submission

3.49Significant strikes landed/ minute

47% striking accuracy

4.14 strikes absorbed/ minute

46% striking defense

0.58 takedowns landed per 15 minutes

28% takedown accuracy

46% takedown defense accuracy

Average Fight time: 7:51

 

Fun Facts

BJJ Black Belt (since 2017)

Professional debut: Feb. 2008

4-2 at Middleweight

 

Striking

Anthony Smith brings about a very dangerous skillset on the feet. He’s got devastating knockout power that can carry into the later rounds, as evidence of his latest and most impressive knockout of his UFC career against former contender Volkan Oezdemir. Smith enjoys the long boxing distance and relies on landing his long hooks for effective damage. Smith will incorporate kicks into his combinations as well and possesses knockout power in his kicks as well. He also will test out the jab depending on the pace set by his opponents.

Jones, of course, possesses such an extensive reach that makes him a danger on the feet at all times, despite not having heavy-hitting knockout power. He can land elbows from unexpected distances, and his leg reach presents the same problem. More impressively, Jones uses great footwork to set up unexpected combinations. It also accounts for his fantastic defensive stats on the feet. Throughout most of his career years, Jones has rarely ever dealt with situations where he was seriously hurt in a fight on the feet.

Advantage: Jon Jones

Grappling

Smith is a BJJ black belt and has shown solid technique on the ground in regards to scrambling and locating offensive positioning. However, Jones is nigh tactfully perfect in the clinch and works the majority of his successful takedowns from the clinch or while pinning his opponents against the cage.

Jones’ top game is also incredibly violent and effective. He’s great about defending submissions and can impose his size in nearly any situation.

Advantage: Jon Jones

Submissions

Both men have shown solid submissions skills. Of Smith’s 31 career wins, 11 have come by way of submission. Jones also has an impressive assortment of submission victories. The advantage here falls to who can work to find the best positions to attack with offense and submissions.

That distinction falls to Jon Jones who can consistently and constantly out-grapple the opposition. The ability to find the positions necessary to attack with submissions gives him the edge ultimately in this category.

Advantage: Jon Jones

Pick 

Jon Jones

Jones holds an advantage in most avenues of this fight. That shouldn’t suggest that Anthony Smith cannot win this fight. Smith can still catch Jones on the feet. He can still find a fantastic submission victory. Smith may be behind in all categories listed, but not by very much. If Jones were to take leisure in any way against Smith, it could cost him. If Jones competes like how he has on his best day, he will likely come out the victor and the method could come from an assortment of ways. Smith will likely give Jones a much more competitive bout than many may be giving him. At UFC 235 expect Anthony Smith to last a little longer with Jon Jones than many expect. Consider parlaying Jones with OVER 2.5 rounds at UFC 235

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Nick Peralta

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