UFC 235: Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt

Jon Jones Anthony Smith

Kamaru Usman is the first African-born and the first Nigerian champion in UFC history after recording a victory over American Tyron Woodley in a UFC 235 encounter on Sunday, March 3.

In an even more emotional speech, Kamaru Usman said to his daughter "I want you to remember this day" while she nodded.

The UFC president seemed genuinely annoyed when welterweight contender Colby Covington tracked him down and confronted him about a missed title shot while he was playing cards at a Las Vegas casino. Although Smith had won three consecutive fights, he was a heavy underdog at the Vegas sports books, but Jones emerged with respect for Smith's fighting spirit.

Covington was at it earlier in the day as well when he crashed Usman's UFC 235 open workout, deriding his title shot Woodley and proclaiming himself the People's Champ. "I will push all the right buttons until I break him". You want to throw punches, you see opportunities, but you don't take them. I mean, once you beat DC twice what does a man like Anthony Smith have for you?

"I need great opponents to make big fights", Jones admitted.

Jones will look to defend his title for the first time since winning the vacant light heavyweight title back in December. This may be the best card mixed martial arts fan will see all year, with the main event featuring UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones (23-1) squaring off against the very experienced veteran in challenger Anthony "Lionheart" Smith (31-13).

Covington, who is ranked ahead of Usman, has not fought in the UFC since defeating Rafael dos Anjos in June 2018 for the interim welterweight title.

"Marty fought like a b***h", Askren said bluntly shortly after Usman defeated Woodley.

Smith, a tough veteran fighter from Texas, got a title shot when Jones decided to make a quick return to the cage. In a fight that featured an insane amount of violence, drama, suspense, heart and controversy packed into just over three minutes of action, Askren survived almost being stopped to submit former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler on Saturday at UFC 235 in Las Vegas. He is the youngest fighter to ever win a championship at age 23. In a fight when the person who riots first is going to lose Robbie Lawler will win every time. I wanted to win the title.

UFC 235 also sees the return of Tecia Torres, who takes on Weili Zhang, and the return of former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, as he faces Pedro Munhoz.

"I might not be the best striker in the world and I might not be the best pure wrestler in the world", he said. Pacific, leading to the prelims on ESPN at 5 p.m. and the main card at 7 p.m. on Pay-Per-View.

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