UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith predictions
The UFC is in Las Vegas this week for UFC 235. Can Anthony Smith shock light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the world? And all eyes are on Ben Askren as he takes on former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler in his first octagon bout.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
POLYANA VIANA (10-2-0) VS. HANNAH CIFERS (8-3-0)
Andrews: Tough fight to call as both fighters are coming off a loss. Viana’s profile blew up with that mugger story and I think she has more ways to win by taking it to the ground.
Andrews Prediction: Polyana Viana via submission
GINA MAZANY (5-2-0) VS. MACY CHIASSON (3-0-0)
Andrews: Gina has fought tougher competition but is giving up a 4-inch reach and 5-inch height. Both can also have good ground games too. My gut says Macy.
Andrews Prediction: Macy Chiasson via submission
EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN (8-0-0) VS. CHARLES BYRD (10-5-0)
Andrews: The young prodigy should take Byrd after softening up with some takedowns.
Andrews Prediction: Edmen Shahbazayan via TKO
TSN 5 PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
DIEGO SANCHEZ (30-11-0) VS. MICKEY GALL (5-1-0)
Andrews: Good fight, but Gall will have to catch Sanchez slipping. I don’t think Gall can break Sanchez down for the fight to go to the ground because Sanchez has good grappling too. Have to go with the aggression of Sanchez.
Andrews Prediction: Diego Sanchez via UD
#12 CODY STAMANN (17-2-0) VS. #13 ALEJANDRO PEREZ (22-6-1)
Andrews: Tough fight to call. Stamann lost to a good fighter in Sterling in his last fight, while Perez decisioned Eddie Wineland. Stamann has the slight edge on paper, but I’m going with Perez to grind it out.
#14 MISHA CIRKUNOV (14-4-0) VS. #15 JOHNNY WALKER (13-3-0)
Andrews: Cirkunov will be a tougher out, but still going with Walker for the finish.
Andrews Prediction: Johnny Walker via TKO
#6 JEREMY STEPHENS (28-15-0) VS. #13 ZABIT MAGOMEDSHARIPOV (17-1-0)
Andrews: This is Zabit’s toughest fight yet. But I feel his creativeness and footwork can frustrate Stephens and we have seen that before.
Andrews Prediction: Zabit Magomedsharipov via UD
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#2 CODY GARBRANDT (11-2-0) VS. #9 Pedro Munhoz (16-3-0, 1NC)
#7 TECIA TORRES (10-3-0) VS. #15 WEILI ZHANG (17-1-0)
Andrews: Torres needs a win badly, but has only lost to the top of the division. Both Torres and Zhang life to move and pile up points. Wouldn’t be surprised if Zhang got the upset, but have to go with the seasoned Torres.
Andrews Prediction: Tecia Torres via UD
#6 ROBBIE LAWLER (28-12-0, 1NC) VS. BEN ASKREN (18-0-0, 1NC)
Andrews: I don’t think Lawler can handle the wrestling of Askren so once Askren eats a few shots, he will get the fight to the ground and grind it out.
Andrews Prediction: Ben Askren via UD
TYRON WOODLEY (19-3-1) VS. #2 KAMARU USMAN (3-1-0)
Andrews: Woodley will return to his explosiveness to keep Usman on the defensive. The wrestling should cancel each other out but the experience and craftiness of Woodley should win out.
Andrews Predcition: Tyron Woodley via UD
JON JONES (23-1-0) VS. ANTHONY SMITH (31-13-0)
Andrews: Smith is a good fighter but will collect a moral victory by hanging with Jones as opposed to shocking the world.
Andrews Prediction: Jon Jones via UD