It may be too early to call but UFC 235 is shaping to become the best card of the year for the world’s most prestigious mixed martial arts promotion as it is set to feature two title fights, three former champions, and some formidable names in the sport on its roster.
The UFC’s third pay-per-view event in 2019 is slated on March 2 and will take place at the illustrious T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada, with a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith and a showdown for the welterweight belt starring Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman serving as its headling bouts.
— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) January 6, 2019
Fresh from overwhelming Alexander Gustafsson in their highly-awaited rematch at UFC 232 last month, the newly-crowned light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, will march on his first title defense this March against the number three ranked contender, Anthony Smith.
Though it has yet to be finalized, UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports that Jones’ title-defense will be UFC’s 235 main event should the Nevada State Athletic Commission grant him a license to compete in Sin City.
“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.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 7, 2019
In the co-main event, reigning champion Tyron Woodley will put his welterweight strap on the line against undefeated fighter Kamaru Usman. Expect fireworks to explode when the two collide at UFC 235.
Woodley has successfully defended his belt three times while Usman has kept his unblemished record intact in the last nine outings including big wins over Demian Maia and Rafael Dos Anjos. And just last week, the two welterweights have already stoked the flames when they clashed in a social media feud about their upcoming fight.
Rather looking forward to this welterweight fight, as it's Ben Askren dubut fight in the UFC, @ruthless_rl Vs @benaskren it's a shame that it's been postponed from @ufc 233 to ufc 235 #ufc233 #UFC235 #LawlerVsAskren pic.twitter.com/2JM8LTvPYT
— The Seb Riggs Brand (@This_is_Riggs) December 15, 2018
Ben Askren’s UFC Debut
If these two title fights are not enough, also in the mix is Ben Askren who will be making his highly-anticipated UFC debut opposite former champion Robbie Lawler in another welterweight match.
All eyes will be on the Hartland, Wisconsin native as he is boasting a heavy resume being the former undefeated champion at ONE Championship and Bellator. Askren has also called out almost all fighters in the division after the historic trade between ONE and UFC, which saw former flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson heading to the Singapore-based promotion.
Another former UFC champion in Cody Garbrandt will beef up the already-stacked UFC 235 roster as he is slated to take on Pedro Munhoz in a bantamweight fight. Ex-bantamweight queen Holly Holm will tussle with Aspen Ladd while Zabit Magomedsharipov will lock horns with Jeremy Stephens.
Breaking: Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz added to UFC 235. That card now has two title fights and three former UFC champions. Wow. pic.twitter.com/heeXk4mg2H
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 7, 2019
Check out the stacked line-up for UFC 235 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
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)