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UFC Moncton’s Anthony Smith: ‘I 100 percent believe that I can beat Jon Jones’

Although he faces a tough test in Volkan Oezdemir this weekend at UFC Moncton, Anthony Smith feels “100 percent” confident he can defeat former champion Jon Jones.

Anthony Smith’s rise in the light heavyweight division has been both sudden and extremely impressive, and although ‘Lionheart’ faces a former title challenger this weekend in Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Moncton, Smith feels ‘in his soul’ he has what it takes to defeat former longtime 205-kingpin Jon Jones if they eventually cross paths.

Smith (30-13) made the move up to 205-pounds earlier this year after being defeated by Thiago Santos at UFC Belem. The 30-year-old has since fought twice at light heavyweight, defeating former UFC champion Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua both by first-round knockout.

Hoping to continue his excellent run of form against Oezdemir this weekend, Smith spoke to MMA Fighting about how he feels the light heavyweight division is now moving forward again with Jones’ return, despite the situation being ‘absolute bullsh-t.’

“It is really bizarre what’s going on with the division right now, but I think that it’s starting to clear up. Regardless of how you feel about Jon Jones and all the stuff that’s going on with him, the division is moving again.

“The title’s back in rotation and we’re starting to move around a little now, which is a good thing, regardless of how anybody feels about Jon. And I’ll never talk about Jon’s personal life — I will absolutely talk about his steroid use, but as far as his personal life, it is what it is. That’s on him.”

Jones, who will fight Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on December 29th, had his USADA suspension reduced by 30-months for providing “substantial assistance” to the anti-doping agency. This is a decision that Smith describes as ‘bullsh-t’, however at the same time he is happy that ‘Bones’ is back.

“I think it’s absolute bullsh-t. But what do you do about it?” Smith said of Jones. “What do we do about it? Nothing. The competitor in me is happy that he’s back, because I 100 percent mean this and I feel it in my soul: I can beat Jon Jones. I have the ability, I have the skill, and I’m probably the only legitimate threat to him right now. And I mean that.

“That’s not just a sound bite — I 100 percent believe that I can beat Jon Jones. With him getting a long suspension, that kinda looks a little bit different and there’s always going to be those questions. Say I beat Volkan and then I get a title shot against Alexander Gustafsson and I beat him, you’re always going to get the Jon Jones question. I don’t want any questions.”

UFC Fight Night: Volkan vs. Smith takes place tonight (Saturday, October 27th) at 10 PM ET on FS1.