The line up for the UFC 235 is almost complete and it is shaping to become one of the best fight cards of 2019.
The Kamura Usman-Tyron Woodley welterweight title fight is already a lock-in for the UFC’s third pay-per-view event this year while a light heavyweight showdown could further bolster the already-stacked card as the promotion is looking to book Jon Jones and Anthony Smith for the main event.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2019
In one of the most highly-anticipated matchups this March, Tyron Woodley is set to defend his welterweight belt against an equally-dangerous opponent in Kamaru Usman. The reigning champion needs to put a stain on Usman’s perfect record if he wants to retain his throne at 17o-lb.
“The Chosen One” submitted the British challenger, Darren Till, at UFC 228 in September to win his fourth consecutive title defense, following a pair of decision wins against Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson respectively.
But Usman would be a tough nut to crack as the “Nigerian Nightmare” has been unbeaten in his last nine outings including big wins over Demian Maia and Rafael Dos Anjos, en route to winning the next title shot for the welterweight gold.
The Nevada-based promotion is also setting its sights on Jon Jones’ first title defense since winning the vacant light heavyweight strap against Alexander Gustaffson at UFC 232 last month. Earlier this month, reports claimed that a fight between “Bones” and Anthony Smith is being targeted to headline the star-studded UFC 235.
Jones would have to apply for a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission first to become eligible to fight at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd. Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his Light Heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a 5 round main event at the T-Mobile Arena.”
Three former champions will also beef up the already-stacked UFC 235 roster. Ex-bantamweight kingpin Cody Garbrandt, who lost his belt to TJ Dillashaw two years ago, will battle Pedro Munhoz while the former queen of 135-lb Holly Holm will lock horns with Aspen Ladd.
But all eyes will be on UFC newcomer Ban Askren who will make his debut against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. “Funky” lorded over the welterweight division at Bellator and ONE FC before he was traded to UFC in exchange of flyweight “GOAT” Demetrious Johnson.
MMA fans should also look forward to a featherweight bout featuring Jeremy Stephens and Russian fighter Zabit Magomedsharipov, who has won Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night honours in his first three UFC bouts.
UFC 235 is stacked !!
Jones vs Smith
Woodley vs Usman
Lawler vs Askren
Cody vs Munhoz
Stephens vs Zabit
What fight are you most looking forward to ? pic.twitter.com/BbA9fROxfX
— ibdbMMA (@ibdbmma) January 10, 2019
Here is the UFC 235 roster as it currently stands:
Light-heavyweight title fight: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith
Welterweight title fight: Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman
Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
Cody Garbrandt vs Pedro Munhoz
Holly Holm vs. Aspen Ladd
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
Mickey Gall vs. Diego Sanchez
Macy Chiasson vs. Gina Mazany
Misha Cirkunov vs. Ovince Saint Preux
(Featured Image Source: Instagram)