Daniel Cormier may not care for Jon Jones, but “DC” doesn’t believe his rival will have too hard of a time, defending the 205 championship at UFC 235.
Jones is going to face the surging Anthony Smith, who has been tapped for a title shot, after finishing Rashad Evans, “Shogun” Rua and Volkan Oezdemir. The win over Oezdemir took place in October, as Smith ended up submitting the heavy-handed fighter in round three.
Recently Cormier spoke with MMA Weekly and he discussed next Saturday’s main event. While doing so, Cormier cited Smith’s bout with Oezdemir, as to why he believes “Lionheart” could be in for a tough night. Cormier faced Oezdemir in January, 2018, and stopped him in round two (quotes via MMA Mania):
“Anthony Smith is a great guy but being a great guy doesn’t win you fights,” Cormier said.
I think he loses to Jones. He won that Volkan [Oezdemir] fight but to struggle that much, it’s very difficult for me because it’s going to make me say something that sounds negative about these guys but I’ve been in there with Volkan and I know that although he’s a good martial artist, there are just holes in the game that make the fight not that hard or as hard as some other fights are.”
“He struggled mightily with the man and that was enough to tell me he was going to struggle when he got to the best light heavyweights and now he’s facing the best light heavyweight. I think he’s going to have a tough time.”
Now, sure, just because Smith had some rough moments against Oezdemir, doesn’t mean he has zero chance of beating Jones. But, even Smith’s biggest supporters likely would concede that if he beats “Bones” at UFC 235, it’s going to be a big-time upset.
Here is the complete line-up for UFC 235, which will take place in Las Vegas.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Anthony Smith
UFC Welterweight Championship
Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Kamaru Usman
Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
Strawweight: Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
Welterweight: Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall
Female Bantamweight: Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson
Female Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Aspen Ladd
Featherweight: Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov
Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida vs. Marlon Vera