Upon closer examination, Smith is convinced Jon Jones is not all that he appears to be.
‘Lionheart’ joined Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell of Morning Kombat for an interview on Room Service Diaries. Halfway through their hour-long conversation, the 34-year-old ranked UFC light heavyweight was asked about fighting Jones at UFC 235 in March 2019. ‘Bones’ ended up winning by unanimous decision and retained the light heavyweight world championship. Smith had this to say about fighting the former light heavyweight champion:
“I just didn’t show up, and Jon Jones is beatable. He’s very beatable. I’m gonna get roasted online for this, but he’s not that good… 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, that’s the problem.”
Smith then further explains his reasoning by saying:
“His fight IQ is not crazy high. He’s well-coached, and he does what he’s told very, very well. When I fought him, if [Mike] Winkeljohn wasn’t saying anything, Jon goes into a holding pattern… He doesn’t actually make any decisions on his own. He’s very well-coached, and that’s a credit to him. I’m not saying it’s a negative. I don’t think it’s a negative.
“But if you take his boxing, if Jon [Jones] 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.”
Since then, ‘Lionheart’ has been trying to scratch and claw his way back to a UFC title shot without any luck. Smith seemed to be close before losing his three-fight win streak with a second-round TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev. Meanwhile, the former light heavyweight king, Jones, is rumored to be debuting at heavyweight in 2023.
Watch Anthony Smith talking about Jon Jones on Room Service Diaries below:
Anthony Smith discusses Jon Jones fighting at heavyweight
Jon Jones has been bulking up for the UFC heavyweight division since beating Dominick Reyes in February 2020. Despite numerous rumors about ‘Bones’ fighting in 2022, the former light heavyweight champion is expected to return in March 2023 at UFC 285. During the same Room Service Diaries interview, Anthony Smith had this to say about Jones at heavyweight:
“I think it’s matchup specific, but I think he does generally well. I think there’s a couple of guys that give him some serious problems. I think it’s unfortunate if I’m Jon Jones, that the Stipe [Miocic] fight hasn’t come together cause I think that’s probably one of the best matchups at the top of the division for Jon.”
Earlier this week, reports surfaced about the UFC wanting Jones to fight Francis Ngannou at UFC 285. If the fight doesn’t materialize, Curtis Blaydes is expected to step in against the former light heavyweight champion. Regardless of the opponent, ‘Bones’ fighting in the heavyweight division is long overdue and will have the MMA community buzzing when he finally returns.