What if Anthony Smith beats Jon Jones?
Jon Jones is beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest fighters to have ever graced the UFC's famed Octagon. However, despite being regarded by many as one of the most naturally talented combatants of all time, his laundry list to PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) test failures as well as issues outside the cage have marred what could've been a near-perfect career.
Irrespective of whether you love or hate the man, the numbers don't lie, and the man known as "Bones" has won 22 of his 24 professional MMA fights -- with the lone loss coming by way of Disqualification to Matt Hamill in a fight Jones was dominating up until he dinged Hamill with a few 12-6 elbows, which led to the DQ. On the other hand, the only NC (No Contest) on Jones' record is that of his UFC 214 Knockout win over archrival Daniel Cormier, which was eventually turned from a KO win for Jones to an NC after "Bones" tested positive for the PED Turinabol which falls under the category of anabolic steroids.
Meanwhile, as Jones was handed down a retroactive suspension from MMA competition -- one which ends very soon, permitting him to compete once again from the 28th of October, 2018 -- a relatively lesser-known fighter, albeit a veteran, named Anthony Smith experienced a rather strange ascent to stardom.
Having competed as a Middleweight throughout his career, a devastating TKO loss to Thiago Santos in their back-and-forth war this February, coerced Smith to reconsider his options -- as "Lionheart" finally decided to stop draining his body with the weight-cut to 185 pounds, and instead move up to 205 pounds...An excellent idea!
With back-to-back 1st Round KO wins over former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua after joining the ranks at 205 pounds, Smith most recently scored a 3rd Round Submission victory over former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir.
Today, we take a special look at the before, during and after -- pertaining to the potential series of events whereby Anthony Smith becomes the man to hand Jon Jones his first true loss in the MMA realm...
#5 Heart of a lion
Firstly, we'd be smart to address the most obvious attribute that has seemingly served to bring Anthony "Lionheart" Smith to the upper echelons of the UFC Light-Heavyweight Division. Well, as his moniker suggests, Smith truly does possess the heart of a lion.
Smith suffered several stoppage losses in the early stages of his MMA career, however, the man who now holds a record of 31-13-1, has persevered through the ups and downs of the hurt business -- putting himself in pole position for a shot at the UFC Light-Heavyweight Title which is presently held by Daniel Cormier.
Nevertheless, with the UFC likely stripping Cormier of the title, as Jon Jones faces Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant strap at UFC 232 this December -- Smith would probably do battle with the winner of Jones vs. Gus in early 2019...