Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again last Saturday night (March 2, 2019), as UFC 235 went down inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pay-per-view (PPV) event saw Jon Jones earn a unanimous decision win over Anthony Smith to retain his UFC Light Heavyweight title (highlights).
In the co-main event, Kamaru Usman dominated Tyron Woodley for five rounds to take “The Chosen One’s” Welterweight belt (see it again here), while Ben Askren made a successful Octagon debut by submitting Robbie Lawler in highly-controversial fashion.
Winner: Jon Jones
Who He Should Fight Next: Thiago Santos
Anthony Smith got his chance to fight for the UFC 205-pound title after winning his first three fights in the division, so “Marreta” should be afforded the same opportunity after doing the same just as violently.
Santos has knocked out his first three challengers in the division since making the move last last year, winning all of them in the span of just six months. To sweeten the pot for Thiago, he even has a knockout win over “Lionheart,” defeating him back at UFC Fight Night 125 in a Middleweight showdown. UFC president Dana White wants the bout, so there really isn’t anything, or anyone, standing in Thiago’s way.
Winner: Kamaru Usman
Who He Should Fight Next: Colby Covington
UFC ruined a perfectly good opportunity to stage a a bitter grudge match between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, and now that Usman is sitting at the top, it behooves the promotion to not let this opportunity slips away.
Kamaru and Colby seem to have even bigger hatred toward one another than “Chaos” and “The Chosen One” (examples here and here) and UFC president Dana White has already gone on record saying the fight is on deck. Still, you can’t blame Colby for not being sold on Dana’s promises. But this one is a no-brainer, and despite the recent beef Covington had with White, it seems that is now water under the bridge and “Chaos” is ready to move forward with the promotion. Sorry, WWE.
Winner: Ben Askren
Who He Should Fight Next: Robbie Lawler or Till vs. Masvidal Winner
Askren is adamant he will not accept a rematch with Lawler after their fight ended in controversy. But, if the powers that be over at UFC want it to happen, I’m sure they will sweeten the pot to convince “Funky” to run it back.
Ben has his eye on Darren Till, but “Gorilla” currently has his dance card full as he’s lined up to fight Jorge Masvidal in a couple of weeks. There is always the possibility that the promotion does book Till vs. Askren or Till vs. Masvidal. At this point it’s simply a waiting game to see what happens at UFC Fight Night 147.
Winner: Weili Zhang
Who She Should Fight Next: Kowalkiewicz vs. Waterson winner
In her last two fights, Zhang has taken out top contenders Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres, so the Chinese-born fighter is on the fast track for bigger and better fights and at this point looking back simply doesn’t make sense.
She should get a huge boost in the rankings later this week, so I’d like to see her face the winner of the upcoming fight between Michelle Waterson and Karolina Kowaliewicz, which is set to go down at UFC on ESPN 2 at the end of the month. Zhang has proven to be as legit as they come, and the rest of the women’s strawweight division has to take notice.
Winner: Pedro Munhoz
Who He Should Fight Next: Aljamain Sterling
Both Aljamain and Pedro are riding three-fight win streaks, and both have their eyes on the big prize. But the 135-pound title picture is a bit cloudy at the moment, as there is still no word if Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo get the chance to fight TJ Dillashaw for the 135-pound belt. If not, well then Marlon Moraes should get next dibs. With Dominick Cruz’s return still uncertain and Raphael Assuncao coming off a loss, a fight between Munhoz — who handed Cody Garbrandt his third straight KO defeat — and Sterling should be a No. 1 contender’s battle.
For much more on UFC 235, including highlights, recaps, breaking news and much more, head over to our “Jones vs. Smith” live story stream by clicking here.