In the main event of the stacked UFC 235 card which goes down tonight on pay-per-view, Jon Jones is looking to defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith. For many, they believe Jones will simply be able to dominate Smith from the get-go and it appears oddsmakers agree. Some betting lines have Jones as high as a 14-1 favorite while most see him as an eight or nine-to-one favorite.
But, according to the champion himself, he believes he should be the underdog against Smith for one reason and one reason alone. Experience.
“I think it’s bullshit that he’s such an underdog,” Jones told MMA Fighting. “I mean, if anything, I should be the underdog. This guy has fought 70 times. He had 30 amateur fights, and he’s had 40 professional fights. That’s 70 fights to my 25.
“So everybody else is like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be a cakewalk,” but dude, I’m preparing for him to be an absolute beast in there. Mentally, I’m ready for a dog fight. I’m ready for a Gustfasson/Jones 1. Mentally, that’s what I’m preparing for. Will that happen? I don’t know. I actually doubt it. But that’s what I’ve prepared for. Mentally, that’s what I’m already ready to happen.”
Although experience definitely plays a role into it there is no question why Jones is the favorite. He is arguably the greatest fighter ever and hasn’t looked beatable in years. The only time Jones appeared to be rocked was in the 2013 title fight against Alexander Gustafsson.
Ultimately, Jones continues to say he is prepared for anything and knows Smith is a very good opponent. He doesn’t quit and always comes forward and has the ability to knock anybody out. That could cause problems for Jones but he remains confident he will hear ‘And Still’ tonight. But, know for sure, the champion doesn’t agree with the betting line whatsoever.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime