Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Jon Jones: I Should Probably Be Fighting Anthony Smith Not Gus

Jon Jones will be making his return next month when he headlines UFC 232 against Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight championship inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This fight will feature two very familiar mainstays in the division in a rematch in what many believe to be the greatest fight in UFC history that took place five years ago. Five years later, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson still find themselves at the top of the division, despite setbacks inside the cage by Gustafsson and many hurdles outside the cage by Jones.

In recent years, the light heavyweight division has been slow to produce new prospects, but two names have emerged as potential future title challengers. Dominick Reyes is an undefeated 28-year old fighting out of Cage Combat Academy who holds a 10-0 record and has gone 4-0 in the UFC.

The other name that has stood out recently is Anthony Smith, a 10-year fight veteran who has now hit full stride in his MMA career, winning six of his last seven fights and going 3-0 in his last three fights, which so happens to be his first fights in the light heavyweight division, with victories over former light heavyweight champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans, as well as a third-round submission victory over former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in the main event of UFC Fight Night 138.

Among the people who have noticed these two new light heavyweight prospects is former longtime kingpin of the division Jon Jones. Jon Jones is not sold on neither Smith nor Reyes, but believes that he should probably be facing one of the two for his comeback fight instead of Alexander Gustafsson:

“I don’t’ think either one of them are ready,” Jon Jones said on a recent appearance on “UFC Unfiltered.” I see major holes in both of their games. I think Anthony Smith may be closer to title contention. And I’ll be really excited to fight him. That’s probably who I should be fighting now as a warm-up fight over Alexander Gustafsson.

“I just feel like he’s definitely not ready,” Jones continued. “His last fight, he got tooled on the ground by Volkan. And Volkan is a striker. To have a striker take your back and ground and pound you from the back position for that long is just like…you get a wrestler like me on your back, dude, somebody’s gonna be looking for rear nakeds, put hooks in, somebody’s looking to really hurt you. He’s not ready.”

Do you agree with Jon Jones? Are Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes not ready to contend for the light heavyweight championship?

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