UFC 235 Review: Jones hits cruise control on a wild night in Vegas

A routine win, a stunning title change and some spectacular action meant UFC 235 delivered a night to remember in Las Vegas.

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Here’s our rundown of what mattered most at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

JONES HYPNOTISES SMITH TO UNANIMOUS DECISION

Well, not actually hypnotised, but Jon Jones has a habit of making usually aggressive fighters unusually cautious and borderline timid – and that’s exactly what happened in his main event victory over Anthony Smith.

Smith promised to make Jones fight from bell to bell, but he looked mesmerised by Jones at points during the fight as the reigning champion ran out a clear unanimous decision victor.

Even a two-point deduction for an illegal knee to a grounded Smith didn’t cause any undue concern, as Jones won each and every round to win 48-44 on all three scorecards to retain his UFC light-heavyweight title.

USMAN STUNS LACKLUSTRE WOODLEY

Was Kamaru Usman brilliant, or was it just a shocker of a day at the office for Tyron Woodley? Well, it may well have been a bit of both as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ totally outclassed ‘The Chosen One’ through all five rounds to claim a shutout win on the cards – and the UFC welterweight title.

Usman used his wrestling to totally smother Woodley for long spells of the fight, while showing improving striking skills to dominate the power-punching champion on the feet.

And, after earning scores of 50-44, 50-44, 50-45, Usman boldly – and, right now, correctly – declared himself to be the best welterweight in the world.

ā€œI might not be the best striker in the world and I might not be the best pure wrestler in the world,ā€ he said.

“But when it comes to mixing this s**t up, Iā€™m the best f***ing welterweight on the planet right now.”

ASKREN GETS SMASHED, BUT GETS THE WIN

UFC debutant Ben Askren arrived with a huge reputation to live up to, and it very nearly got smashed to smithereens inside the opening minute of the fight.

Former UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler slammed Askren inot the canvas and proceeded to unload a devastating salvo of ground strikes that came close to finishing the fight.

But Askren survived, and went on to finish Lawler with a bulldog choke after referee Herb Dean adjudged Lawler to have blacked out during the choke.

Lawler thought differently, and protested strongly after the fight. But Askren proved that while he’s a phenomenal wrestler, he certainly isn’t bulletproof in the striking department.

After the fight he said he wants to fly to London to watch Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal before taking on the winner later in the year.

And the winner of that matchup may well produce a new number-one contender for the title.

WALKER BEATS CIRKUNOV, BUT LOSES TO THE WORM

Brazilian light-heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker scored another rapid-fire stoppage win with a spectacular 36-second flying-knee knockout of Canadian Misha Cirkunov, but ended up nursing an injury after his post-fight celebration went badly wrong.

Following his stunning KO win, Walker saluted the crowd then fell forward to attempt some breakdancing. But his performance of ‘The Worm’ was curtailed by his landing on the canvas, as he dislocated his left shoulder.

Despite being in obvious pain, Walker was still able to laugh about the incident as Joe Rogan replayed the incident to the crowd on the big screen.

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