Newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will make his first title defense since regaining the title back at UFC 232.
Contingent upon a license from the Nevada Athletic Commission, “Bones” Jones will defend the strap against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, March 2 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The UFC 235 headliner will take place in Nevada granted that the commission clears Jones and allows him to fight in the state. Last month an adverse test finding caused his title bout with Alexander Gustafsson to be moved from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California on just one week’s notice.
A Dec. 9 test revealed low levels of a long-term metabolite of oral turinabol, the same steroid found in Jones’ system after an in-competition drug test for his fight against Daniel Cormier in July 2017.
Jones finished Gustafsson in the third round of their scheduled five-round rematch on Dec. 29.
Smith, (31-13) is riding a three fight win streak with finishes over former champions Rashad Evans and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, as well as former title contender Volkan Oezdemir.
The card also includes the UFC debut of former Bellator and ONE Championship star Ben Askren. He will face former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.