The UFC returns to Las Vegas on Saturday with a stacked card for UFC 235. This star-studded event features two title fights at the top of the card with Tyron Woodley defending his Welterweight strap against Kamaru Usman, followed by the night’s main event which has Jon Jones taking on Anthony Smith for the Light Heavyweight title. This card is full of talent from top to bottom and has the potential to be one of the best cards of 2019. The main and co-main events are just icing on the cake though. Also on the main card is the highly anticipated arrival of Ben “Funky” Askren. The four-time collegiate All-American wrestler, 2008 Olympian, Bellator, and ONE champion will have his hands full as he takes on former UFC Welterweight Champion, Robbie Lawler.
The preliminary card is headlined by a key featherweight match-up between Jeremy Stephens and Zabit Magomedsharipov. Countering the forward moving style of Stephens will be Magomedsharipov’s biggest test to date. The undercard also has rising star Johnny Walker taking on submission specialist Misha Cirkunov, in what is sure to be an exciting Light Heavyweight tilt. Walker finished Justin Ledet in just 15 seconds last month by TKO and was awarded Performance of the Night honors in his last two contests.
Jones vs. Smith
The oddsmakers have Smith as a heavy underdog in this one, but I see him as having more than just a “punchers chance.” Smith has enough tools to test Jones, but in the end, Jones is on a different level. Jones by TKO, 3rd Round.
Woodley vs. Usman
Both fighters have top-level wrestling backgrounds, so the fighter that can impose his will via striking, cage control, etc., will come away victorious. I think that fighter is Tyron Woodley. Woodley by Decision.
Lawler vs. Askren
Askren will lean heavily on his wrestling background, but Lawler still possesses the skills to make this a closely contested, back and forth battle. Askren’s fighter IQ will help him avoid situations where Lawler is better. Askren by Decision.
Walker over Cirkunov by TKO
Magomedsharipov over Stephens by Submission.