Anthony Smith doesn’t feel Jon Jones is all he’s cracked up to be when further dissected.
“Lionheart” challenged for his first world title at UFC 235 in March 2019, taking on “Bones,” the consensus best Light Heavyweight to ever compete. Since the unanimous decision loss, Smith has been vocal about his dismal performance and inability to display his skills to their full capability.
Jones fought twice after beating Smith, defending his title against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes in competitive affairs before vacating his 205-pound title with intentions of going up to Heavyweight. Reflecting on their encounter and watching Jones’ bouts after theirs, Smith believes he knows exactly the reason Jones has had his level of success.
“Jon Jones is beatable, very beatable,” Smith told Morning Kombat. “He’s not that good. Not individually. If you take his individual skill sets and you take them away, each one of those things are not a problem. It’s when you put them together, and he puts it into the full package it’s the problem. His fight IQ is not crazy high. He’s well-coached and he does what he’s told, very, very well. And that’s a credit to him. I’m not saying it as a negative, I don’t think it’s a negative. He’s a dog for sure.
“But, if you take his boxing, if Jon and I were to just box, I don’t think he’s the G.O.A.T. Like I think we have a very competitive striking match. If we’re just doing no-gi jiu-jitsu, like I don’t think Jon Jones beats me in a jiu-jitsu match. Wrestling, he probably wins that. But it’s not the individual skill set that he has, it’s the way he puts it together.”
While Jones has yet to debut in the Heavyweight division, Smith has remained active, fighting seven times post “Bones.” Dropping a second round technical knockout loss to Magomed Ankalaev in July 2022 thanks to a scary leg injury, Smith is now on the comeback trail with plans to return to the Octagon sooner rather than later.