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UFC: Jon Jones vs Anthony Smith Odds Analysis

The light heavyweight title will be back on the line at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2 as Jon “Bones” Jones looks to defend against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith. Jones recaptured his belt at UFC 232 with his third-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson and is a -800 favorite with Smith, who is on a three-fight winning streak, coming back at +500.

Odds Analysis

Money came in fast and furious for Jones shortly after this fight was announced as he opened as a -500 favorite and is now up to -800. Bones is accustomed to being a large favorite as he has been favored by an average line of -545 in his nine fights since 2012 that we have odds for. Meanwhile, this is the fifth time in Smith’s 11-fight UFC career that he has been an underdog and he split the first four bouts as a dog, with the most recent being his last fight when he closed at +150 vs Volkan Oezdemir – Lionheart won that fight via third-round submission.

Smith has been on an absolute tear since moving up to the light heavyweight division, rattling off three straight wins, all by finishes. Lionheart earned quick first-round knockout finishes over Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua immediately after moving up from middleweight, needing just 2:22 total to dispatch those veterans. He followed up those wins with an impressive third-round rear-naked choke over light heavyweight contender Oezdemir to earn his title shot. So at +500, you may be looking at this bet as some real value, but do so at your own peril.

Jones returned from his suspension to stand toe-to-toe with Alexander Gustafsson, the one man who really made him look human, in a highly anticipated rematch from UFC 165. Bones owned the second fight, finishing Gustafsson in the third round with an aggressive ground-and-pound TKO. The champion does a great job dissecting his opponents and really exploits their weaknesses and parlays them into victories, with his only loss being a disqualification for an illegal elbow in a fight that should have been ended long before that blow landed.

Who Will win between Smith and Jones

Although Smith has been on a finishing tear with his last seven fights ending before the final horn, six of them with his hand being raised, this is a massive step up in competition for him. The creativity and strength Jones possesses causes issues for every opponent he has ever had and I don’t anticipate anything different come March 2. Just under three years ago, Lionheart was taken down six times and outstruck 120-41 on significant strikes by Cezar Ferreira, an unranked middleweight. Jones’ wrestling and range will simply be too much for Smith and the fight could be as lopsided as the odds suggest.

UFC 235: Jon Jones vs anthony smith Betting Odds
Jon Jones-800
Anthony Smith+500

Odds as of March 2 at Bovada