The UFC returns to Las Vegas this weekend for two title fights and one of the most stacked undercards in recent memory. Here’s The Wolf’s tips for UFC 235: Jones v Smith.
|Best Bet||Jon Jones by KO ($2.10)|
|Next Best||Garbrandt to win by KO ($2.55)|
|Best Roughie||Diego Sanchez ($3.20)|
Jon Jones (21-1-1 NC) v Anthony Smith (31-13)
Jon Jones returned to action at UFC 232 in December after an 18-month hiatus and looked like the champ of old against Alexander Gustafsson. He pulverised the #2 ranked Swede to regain his title after a long series of indiscretions that have seen him fight just five times in five years. Only aged 30, Anthony Smith has scrapped and clawed his way through 44 fights to earn a shot at Jones, a feat that seemed unlikely when a Thiago Santos body shot floored him in Brazil 12 months ago. Since moving up to light heavyweight, Smith has notched up wins against Volkan Oezdemir, Shogun Rua and Rashad Evans, all by either KO or submission.
The Wolf is backing Jones to make easy work of Anthony Smith. The challenger may have the height that some previous contenders to Jones have lacked, but there is just no logical path to victory for him. Jones will be too strong, too dynamic and too creative in every facet of the game. Back him for an early night in Vegas.
Bet: Jon Jones by KO ($2.10)
Cody Garbrandt (11-2) v Pedro Munhoz (15-3-1)
Former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt returns to the Octagon for the first time in nearly six months after two knockout losses to current champ TJ Dillashaw. Unfortunately for ‘No Love’, both fights were decidedly one-sided so he’ll be looking to take his first step back into title contention on Sunday. Pedro Munhoz is a well-rounded fighter who has shown particular growth in his kicking game, which he used to finish Brian Caraway with a brutal liver shot in his last fight. Prior to this, 9 of his other 16 wins came by submission.
Munhoz has certainly earned this step up in competition, but The Wolf is wary of his ordinary record against the UFC’s upper echelon. He doesn’t hold a win over a current top 15 fighter and his three career losses came against Raphael Assuncao (currently ranked #3), Jimmie Rivera (#6) and John Dodson (#9). Garbrandt looks the safe play here, either head-to-head or by trademark knockout for some value.
Bet: Garbrandt to win by KO ($2.55)
Diego Sanchez (28-11) v Mickey Gall (5-1)
Diego Sanchez just keeps on keeping on. The veteran of 29 UFC appearances has only won six his last ten fights, but he returned to the winner’s list in a vintage high-pressure effort against Craig White at UFC 228 in September. Mickey Gall, too, had his arm raised in his last fight after previously suffering his first career loss to Randy Brown in November of 2017.
The Wolf likes the underdog here at the price. Sanchez has never lost a fight by submission and is fighting a man who has won all of his fights by rear-naked choke. His last three wins have also come against terrific submission fighters in White, Marcin Held and Jim Miller. Expect the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner to scrap his way to his 18th Octagon victory in Vegas.
Bet: Diego Sanchez ($3.20)
More UFC Tips
|Jon Jones v Anthony Smith||Jones by KO ($1.70)|
|Tyron Woodley v Kamaru Usman||Fight to go the distance – Yes ($2.00)|
|Ben Askren v Robbie Lawler||Askren by points ($1.75)|
|Tecia Torres v Weili Zhang||No Bet|
|Cody Garbrandt v Pedro Munhoz||Garbrandt to win by KO ($2.55)|
|Jeremy Stephens v Zabit Magomedsharipov||Magomedsharipov by sub/points ($1.55)|
|Johnny Walker v Misha Cirkunov||Cirkunov ($2.20)|
|Alejandro Perez v Cody Stamann||Stamman ($1.50)|
|Diego Sanchez v Mickey Gall||Sanchez ($3.20)|