This upcoming weekend sees the biggest UFC show of 2019 thus far, as Jon Jones is all set to headline UFC 235 by defending his UFC Light-Heavyweight title against an unlikely challenger – Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith.
Nobody can deny that Smith’s earned his shot at the gold – he’s won three straight fights at 205lbs, taken out two former champions and also beat a former title challenger in Volkan Oezdemir. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he actually has a chance at dethroning Jones.
No offense to Smith – he’s a great fighter in his own right – but I just find it hard to think that he can beat one of the greatest fighters of all time. Here are 4 reasons why Anthony Smith simply can’t beat Jon Jones.
#1 He doesn’t have a puncher’s chance
When fights that sound one-sided on paper are made, a lot of the time you hear fans and analysts talking about the underdog having a “puncher’s chance”, essentially suggesting that – quite rightly – anyone can get knocked out if they’re hit in the right spot and the person throwing the shot hits hard enough.
The problem with giving Anthony Smith a puncher’s chance, however, is that he doesn’t seem to have the kind of one-shot power that could turn a guy like Jon Jones’ lights out. This isn’t Anthony Johnson we’re talking about here – Smith is a pretty great striker both from range and from inside the clinch, but even his most recent KO or TKO wins over the likes of Shogun Rua and Hector Lombard came after flurries of strikes rather than one shot.
Jones has survived the power of fighters like Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, and Lyoto Machida. He’s never really been stunned in a fight, let alone knocked down or out. Questions still exist around the strength of his chin, but that’s because it’s so damn hard to actually hit him cleanly. Therefore I just can’t see Anthony Smith being the one to suddenly crack Jones’ chin, not when he’s never turned the lights out on anyone with one shot before.