“He can do whatever he wants,” Jon Jones gets full support from formal rival Anthony Smith as ‘GOAT’ doesn’t get stripped off belt
Anthony Smith, former light heavyweight rival to Jon Jones adovcated for him to retaining his heavyweught gold in light of pectoral injury.
Anthony Smith sides with rival Jon Jones, in scuffle with Tom Aspinall (Source: Twitter)
Heavyweight champion Jon Jones could not defend his title at UFC 295 due to an injury. Accordingly, Tom Aspinall fought for the interim title fight, which he won. But with Jones still maintaining his champion status, Aspinall might have to wait some time to fight again. Thus, Aspinall had asked for the removal of his belt. Anthony Smith has weighed in on the Jones-Aspinall thing.
Smith, the light heavyweight, is a former opponent of Jones. With Tom Aspinall putting in a stern request for the strip-off of the heavyweight belt, things dynamically became tense. Speaking at the UFC Vegas 83 media day, Smith weighed in on the matter. Answering wittily, he said:
You all know how I feel about Jon Jones. I hate when you guys ask me questions where I have to say nice things about him. Jon Jones can do whatever the f*** he wants. Really. He’s earned that...Anthony Smith via UFC Vegas 83 media day
Smith and Jones faced off at UFC 235 in 2019. Jones had won through a unanimous decision (scored 48–44, 48–44, 48–44). The bout was one of the highlighting face-offs in both the fighters’ careers. Smith has been amicably respectful of Jones since considering him a beatable opponent. Therefore, Smith sided with Jones in the matter against Aspinall.
With veteran Chael Sonnen and peers weighing in, Aspinall believed Jones should relinquish his belt. CEO Dana White is adamantly set to book Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic in 2024. Hence, until that happens, Aspinall might need to stay on the sidelines. This was why he asked the UFC to strip Jones in the first place.
Anthony Smith thinks Jon Jones would have defeated Francis Ngannou
Ex-UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou recently made his pro-boxing debut at Riyadh Season. He faced off against lineal boxing heavyweight Tyson Fury and performed admirably despite incurring a decision loss. In the wake of the square-off, fans had instigated Dana White to book a cross-promotional matchup between Ngannou and UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Anthony Smith, a former rival to Jones in the light heavyweight division, has weighed in on the matter. He is opinionated that Jones would have beaten Ngannou on account of being a dynamic grappler. Speaking to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani, he delved into the same. Check out what he said in the below tweet:
Jones has always fought with a point to prove. He outstruck Alexander Gustafsson, a striker, and outwrestled Daniel Cormier, a decorated wrestler. Hence, Smith believed Jones would have found a way to defeat Ngannou in his element. However, that is Smith’s opinion, and only a matchup between the two would reveal the real outcome.
In case you missed it:
- “I’m going to bit this son of a b**ch!” Mike Tyson’s infamous ear-bite moment ALMOST happened in UFC between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones
- “Francis Ngannou is one of the easier fights for Jon Jones” Anthony Smith gives his opinion on Jones-Ngonnou match up