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UFC 247’s Jon Jones advises ‘tremendous reporter’ Stephen A. Smith to do more homework, starting with UFC 1

Stephen A. Smith never claimed to be a mixed martial arts (MMA) expert. But when you are one of ESPN’s best — and highest-paid — reporters, you go where “The Worldwide Leader In Sports” sends you.

As a result of Smith’s position with ESPN and the company’s partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Smith has been tasked with the duty of covering high-profile UFC events, such as UFC 246, which featured Conor McGregor’s knockout of Donald Cerrone a few weeks ago (see it here).

After “Notorious” dispatched of “Cowboy” rather swiftly, Smith caught flak for his post-fight comments bashing Cerrone, saying that the long-time veteran folded against McGregor and that shoulder shrugs shouldn’t be able to rock a fighter of his caliber.

What ensued was a back-and-forth spat with Joe Rogan, who didn’t appreciate Smith’s outlandish comments. While some have come to the defense of Smith, including Nate Diaz and Chael Sonnen, others were quick to bury the boisterous sports personality.

Now, current Light Heavyweight king, Jon Jones, is giving his take, saying that while he’s always been a fan of Smith’s work, he advises him to do a bit more homework to familiarize himself with every aspect of MMA moving forward.

“Hat’s off to Stephen A. Smith, by the way, I think he’s a tremendous reporter,” Jones said during a recent media scrum (video replay here). “But you’re absolutely right, I think he does need to some more homework.

“I think he needs to go back and maybe watch some of those PRIDE fights,” he continued. “Go back and start with UFC 1 and really do your homework that way you know not only who we all are, but you know positioning, you know technique and you know a few submission names. I doubt they are at that level, but I would love to encourage them to get at that level. If you’re a true professional, that’s what you do,” he concluded.

It remains to be seen if Smith takes Jones’ advice, but if anyone is up for the challenge, it’s Smith, who has been covering a wide range of professional sports for more than 25 years.

Jones, meanwhile, is set to defend his 205-pound title for the eleventh time this Saturday night (Feb. 8, 2020) in Houston, Texas.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 247 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 247: “Jones vs. Reyes” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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