The UFC is set for one of their biggest Pay-Per-View events of 2019 with UFC 235. This event will take place in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and is loaded with 12 action-packed fights that should make one of the best fight cards of the year. The card is highlighted by two UFC Title Fights and several fights that could be main events on any other UFC card.
In the Main Event, we will see Jon Jones attempt to defend his UFC Light-Heavyweight Title when he takes on Anthony “Lionheart” Smith. This fight is slated for five 5-minute rounds between the two top Light-Heavyweights.
Jon Jones is the current champion and enters the fight fresh off a 3rd round TKO of Alexander Gustafsson in Jones’ return from suspension. Jones looked really strong in the fight and was very patient. Jones said after that fight that he wants to be a very active fighter in 2019. This will be his 2nd fight in 2 months, and the 31-year old Jackson Wink product is planning on 3 more fights in 2019.
Anthony Smith enters this championship title fight with a 3-fight win streak and a record of 31-13 overall. Smith is the younger fighter but overall, has two times the amount of fights that Jones has. Smith is coming in off wins over Volkan Oezdemir, Mauricio Rua, and Rashad Evans. Smith is a complete finisher, winning his last 6 by KO or TKO. His striking is on another level, and since training with Marc Montoya at Factory X Muay Thai, he has really taken his career to a new level.
A lot of people are looking at this fight as an easy win for Jon Jones, and the odds makers must agree as Jones enters the fight as a large favorite of -980 up to -1450. That basically means that Vegas gives Anthony Smith no chance to win this fight. Those were the same odds that Ronda Rousey had when she fought a no-name striker by the name of Holly Holm. I think Smith actually matches up very well again Jones and is going to surprise some people.
Jones doesn’t like to have pressure applied to him, and that is precisely what Smith is good at. I know it is a stretch……but I’m calling for one of the biggest upsets in UFC history! I’m taking Anthony Smith here to win by 3rd round TKO over Jon Jones!
Handicapping Selection: Anthony Smith WINS via 3rd Rd TKO at +780
In the Co-Main Event, we will see the UFC Welterweight Title on the line as current champion Tyron Woodley taking on Kamaru Usman. This fight is slated for five 5-minute rounds with the winner being the UFC Welterweight Champion.
Tyron Woodley is the current UFC Welterweight Champion and has a record of 19-3-1. Woodley is riding a 3 fight win streak over Darren Till, Demian Maia, and Stephen Thompson, all of which were title defenses.
Woodley won the UFC Welterweight title back on July 30, 2016, against Robbie Lawler, who never actually got a chance to redeem his loss against Woodley. The UFC never gave him a rematch, but he is also on this card, and a win could set up a rematch against Woodley.
His opponent is Kamaru Usman, who enters this fight with a record of 14-1. Usman is undefeated in the UFC, winning Ultimate Fighter Season 21 and rolling off 8 straight wins since that time of the show. Usman is a well-known wrestler that likes to use his wrestling to complement his striking.
This fight will come down to Usman trying to take Woodley down. Good luck with that. When Woodley fought Demian Maia, he completely stopped Maia from taking him down. That is exactly what will happen here. Look for Usman to get frustrated and for Woodley to land big strikes late in the fight. Woodley wins and retains the title.
Handicapping Selection: Tyron Woodley WINS via 4th Round TKO at -160
Pay Attention to Garbrandt vs. Munhoz
One fight that you may want to look at from a betting standpoint is Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz. This fight is not gaining as much attention as most would think. This is one of those fights that belong headlining a card somewhere.
Cody Garbrandt enters this fight in a dangerous place. He has lost his last two fights in a row and is in a must-win scenario. Garbrandt was undefeated prior to those 2 losses, both of which were to TJ Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Garbrandt had excuses for both of those fights and now, has no reason why he doesn’t bounce back in this fight.
Pedro Munhoz enters this fight with a record of 17-3 overall and 7-3 in the UFC. He is entering the fight off back-to-back wins over Bryan Caraway and Brett Johns. Munhoz is basically a point fighter that would rather look for the decision win than go for the finish.
Garbrandt has to win this fight. He knows that. If he wants any chance of getting back to a title fight, he must win this fight. His striking is superior to Munhoz, and I am expecting a very early stoppage in the fight.
Handicapping Selection: Cody Garbrandt WINS via 1st Round TKO at -160