Thursday, August 18, 2022

Anthony Smith: Jon Jones Vacating LHW Championship A Noble Act

Jon Jones is receiving praise from perhaps an unexpected source, former opponent and recent verbal sparring partner Anthony Smith.

This Saturday at UFC Fight Night 175, Anthony Smith will be headlining opposite Aleksandar Rakic, and Smith believes that a win could get him right back into title contention. This is mainly because the ex-light heavyweight champion who holds a recent victory over him, Jon Jones, has vacated the title. This has opened up a brand-new world for the division that Jones has loomed over for nearly a decade, and Anthony Smith gives credit to Jones for not holding up the division.

“Jon Jones is one of those guys, when he gets something, you’re gonna have to peel it out of his cold, dead hands to get it back from him, which is the mentality that makes him so great, you know?” Smith told MMA Junkie. “Once he’s got something that’s his, you’re gonna have to take it from him. So that was a cool look into where Jon is at personally, where he’s willing to make the type of decision that doesn’t necessarily benefit him that much and it does benefit a lot of other people.”

This compliment may be a bit surprising for some, given that Jones and Smith recently traded barbs after Jones threw shade at Smith regarding a home burglary incident, but Anthony Smith feels that Jones’ action merits credit being given where it is due.

“So I’m not typically the guy who has a whole bunch of nice things to say about Jon Jones, but that’s a noble thing to do,” Smith said. “And he could have held on to that title for a long time, and gone up to heavyweight, and done his thing, and talked about coming back down, and not coming back down, and drag everybody out for a long time. But he didn’t do that. So it was a surprise to me, and I think that says a lot of positive things about where Jon Jones is right now.”

Jon Jones has seemed to be at peace in his personal life as of late, doing charitable community work regularly in recent weeks, so perhaps Anthony Smith may have stumbled onto something regarding Jones’ current state. But with Jon Jones now officially in his rearview and proper credit has been given, Smith would like to now own what once belonged to Jones: the UFC light heavyweight championship. A victory over Aleksandar Rakic at UFC Fight Night 175 this Saturday brings him one major step closer to achieving just that.

What’s your take on Anthony Smith’s kind words on Jon Jones and his decision to vacate the light heavyweight championship?

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