UFC 235: Jon Jones Vs. Anthony Smith Betting Odds & Picks

UFC 235 expert betting picks

Jon Jones Vs. Anthony Smith Picks

UFC 235 expert predictions, odds, and picksLast December in UFC 232 we saw the return of Jon “Bones” Jones. He fought Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title. That night Jones went home with a knockout victory in the third round and the champion belt. During his career, Jones lost only one time against Matt Hamill in 2009. “Bones” was disqualified for performing an illegal attack (12-6 elbows) on Hamill. Jones, is arguably, one of the greatest fighters we’ve ever seen in the octagon, and he holds three UFC records:

  • He’s the youngest fighter who has won the title of UFC champion (23 years, 242 days).
  • The longest series of victories in the light heavyweight division (14).
  • The most finishes in the light heavyweight (6).

Anthony Smith is not the most technical fighter in the division. However, he’s jiu-jitsu it’s functional but not as technical as Jones. He’s aggressive and the type of fighter that sees you down and comes forward strong with heavy unorthodox strikes. Against someone with such high fighter IQ as Jones, going forward without thinking will expose you to dangerous counterattacks, takedowns, punches, and elbows.

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UFC Pick: Jones 2nd Round +330
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UFC Pick: Jones 2nd Round +330
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So far he had 11 fights in the UFC. Smith’s next duel is not an easy one and to be honest – Smith has very few chances to win. My Bookie has Smith at +595, however, in MMA betting nothing is set in stone. Smith won’t be an easy fight but Jones is a freak of nature and he never faced someone like Jones before. In 5 out of 11 fights, Smith was the dog and he has been able to take home big wins against UFC veterans Rua and Evans by KO in the first round, surprising fans and sport of experts who didn’t believe that was a possible outcome at the time.

Who Will Be The Winner In Jones Vs. Smith?

Jones is one of the most creative and accurate UFC fighters the light heavyweight division has ever seen. Hands Down, Jon Jones is one the greatest of all time when it comes to mixed martial arts. Smith will not be able to face Jones effectively standing or in the ground.

I believe that Jones winning by knockout or submission in the first three rounds makes sense. He will find weak spots in Smith’s defense during the first round and begin to hit for real in the second round. The main issue lies in how many rounds Smith is able to resist. It is unlikely that he will stand up for the 5 rounds and wait for the decisions of the judges. If the fight goes on the ground – no matter how well Smith understands the ground fight mechanics – he’ll be done, as his ground game is on another level.

What’s the play? I don’t like the heavy price but Jones at -845 makes sense. I think he wins this fight every time if they fight 100 times. There are a couple of interesting props to consider at MyBookie.ag. Jon Jones wins in round 2 at +330 and Jon Jones wins in round 3 at +500 are both bets I like.

Tyron Woodley Vs. Kamaru Usman Predictions

The favorite in this fight is Tyron Woodley at -150. In 4 of his last 5 fights, Woodley was always favorite and the betting public was correct as Woodley took the victory home in those 4 fights. However, the fight against Stephen Thompson in UFC 205, ended in a draw. Woodley was able to defend his title 5 times. His last fight defending his title was against Darren Till, on September 8, 2018, he won the fight by submission in the second round and he was superior in every aspect of the matchup that night.

Woodley won 9 fights in the UFC so far and lost only 2. in 2013 he lost against Jake Shields and in 2014 against Rory MacDonald. In 2016, he defeated Robbie Lawler for the title. He is a well-rounded fighter and a vicious striker. From his last 23 fights. Including his Strikeforce fights, He won 19 of them. 7 of those wins came by knockout and 5 by submission, he also received 3 bonuses from the UFC:

  • “The best fight of the night” Against Stephen Thompson.
  • “The best knockout of the night” Against Josh Koscheck.
  • “The performance of the night” In the fight with Robbie Lawler.

Kamaru Usman comes as the underdog at +130 for this fight. The first and only defeat he suffered so far was in 2013 against Jose Caceres. Of 14 victories, 6 came by knockout, one by submission and 7 by the judges’ decision. In December 2018, Kamaru ranked second in the official UFC welterweight rankings.

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UFC Pick: Woodley by KO +140
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UFC Pick: Woodley by KO +140
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Who Wins Woodley Vs. Usman?

Usman is an excellent wrestler, with 40 takedowns he’s tied in 8th place for the most takedowns in the history of the division. With 52% takedown accuracy I don’t see Kamaru going on the distance. His striking is not something to underestimate. Against Dos Anjos, he landed 130 significant strikes and 12 takedowns. To put in perspective he’s the second guy in UFC history to accomplish 100+ significant strikes and 10+ takedowns in the same fight.

On average Kamaru performs 4.47 takedowns every 15 minutes and is notorious for its ground and pound technique. However, Woodley’s takedown defense its excellent —94% of the takedowns attempts against him are blocked, the only fighter that has managed to successfully pass his takedown defense was Rory MacDonald.

Woodley is the former freestyle wrestler. He gets to the octagon for this fight with 5 knockout wins. Usman has excellent striking ability and it’s something to be aware of but not as impressive as his wrestling skills. He has chances to win as long as his endurance allows him to constantly go for the takedown. From there, Woodley should be in control for as long as the fight lasts, as Tyron endurance seems to suffer more during long fights.

Taking into consideration how effective his anti-wrestler tactics work for him and how talented he is knocking people out, the probability of victory for Kamaru Usman is not so high. In my opinion, Tyron Woodley will defend his title one more time. What’s the play? Woodley at -150 to win the fight. An interesting prop bet could be Woodley by KO, TKO, or submission at +140. Also, Tyron by decision or technical decision at +260 worth a shot.

Robbie Lawler Vs. Ben Askren Betting Predictions

This is Ben Askren debut fight in the UFC and fans cannot be more excited. Askren is a two-time NCAA champion, former Welterweight Champion at Bellator, and freestyle Olympic wrestler in 2008. If you’re a casual fan of UFC this guy is similar to Khabib Nurmagomedov. A wrestling artist, a machine, once he closes the distance he will be relentless into achieving that takedown and dominate you on the ground.

He is fighting Robbie Lawler. Ben is considered the favorite to win his UFC debut at -275. Lawler has been out of action since December 2017, due to a torn ACL, in a decision loss against Rafael dos Anjos.

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UFC Pick: Askren By Decision -140
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UFC Pick: Askren By Decision -140
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Lawler’s striking is fast and powerful. He has won 20 of his 28 victories by KO or TKO. However, Ben’s wrestling is at such a high level. Lawler’s body and mind don’t seem to be just right as of late, as many of his fights ended with the referee stopping them. Robbie wasn’t looking as sharp and fast when he fought Dos Anjos.

Who Will Win Lawler Vs. Askren?

The fight is interesting. But, not only because it is the first fight for Askren and it could be the start of a prominent career in the UFC. We’re going to see how well prepared Lawler is for high-level competition. If he manages to defend effectively and avoid as much as possible that Ben can take him to the ground, Robbie has a chance. But, this will depend heavily on how well his body is right now. Ben’s plan is probably to do what he does best, endless takedowns and aggressive ground and pound. However, Askren has never faced a high-class striker, like Lawler.

In my opinion, the winner will be Askren. The last two years in the UFC were difficult for Lawler, the duel against Rafael Dos Anjos, which lasted 5 rounds, caused considerable damage to Robbie’s health.  Lawler’s body might not be ready to deal with a top-level wrestler like Ben Askren. What’s the play? Askren at -275. A prop bet I really like could be Ben Askren by decision or technical decision at -140.

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Gustavo Santiago

Gustavo Santiago - MMA Analyst & Writer

Gustavo is a dedicated mixed martial artist, UFC die-hard fan, and bettor. He’s responsible for our MMA fight breakdowns and UFC picks here at SBS while he’s taking a break from his Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling or Bjj training. He is the SBS’ king of Mixed Martial Arts.

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