Jon Jones is a massive betting favorite heading into his light heavyweight title defense against Anthony Smith at UFC 235, and many fans are expecting ‘Bones’ to steamroll ‘Lionheart’ in the main event.
Top-three light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir, however, who suffered a technical knockout loss to Smith at UFC Fight Night 138, believes Jones would be wise not to underestimate his opponent.
Speaking to John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock in a recent interview, Oezdemir, a former title challenger, said that the longer the fight goes on, the more Smith has a chance at pulling off the upset.
With that said, Oezdemir is still picking Jones to successfully defend his title.
“I think I’m still going to have to go with Jones but Anthony Smith is a surprising fighter,” Oezdemit said. “He’s durable and I think that’s one of his weapons — a way he’s going to upset everybody with Jon Jones.”
“He’s still there, he has tons of experience, a lot of long fights, and a lot of success and knockouts in the later rounds. Somebody you need to finish really quick and that’s something Jon Jones will have to do.”
Oezdemir, who is now fully recovered from injury, could look to fight the winner of Jones vs. Smith with a win over Dominick Reyes at UFC on ESPN+5. ‘No Time’ will take on the undefeated light heavyweight prospect on March 16 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith takes place next month, March 2nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.