UFC 235 Results: Jon Jones, Kamaru Usman Big Winners from Event's Main CardMarch 3, 2019
UFC 235 closed out with a familiar scene: Jon Jones holding the light heavyweight championship belt. This time, Anthony Smith was his victim via unanimous decision.
The win moves Jones' record to 24-1 in his career. However, there was a moment where it looked like Jones could experience some career deja vu.
The only real intrigue in the fight came when Jones unleashed a knee on a downed Smith late in the fourth round. Lionheart could have chosen to end the fight there and picked up a disqualification win, but he chose to fight on, and the bout went on to reach its expected conclusion.
The title fight served as the cap to a night of fights that is sure to alter the landscape of several divisions. Kamaru Usman became the welterweight champion. Ben Askren made a successful UFC debut, and a former champion was knocked out for the third consecutive fight.
Here's a look at all that transpired.
- Jon Jones def. Anthony Smith via unanimous decision (48-44 x3)
- Kamaru Usman def. Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision (50-44 x2, 50-45)
- Ben Askren def. Robbie Lawler via first-round submission (bulldog choke) (3:20)
- Weili Zhang def. Tecia Torres via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
- Pedro Munhoz def. Cody Garbrandt via first-round KO (4:52)
- Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Jeremy Stephens unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Johnny Walker def. Misha Cirkunov via first-round TKO (0:36)
- Cody Stamann def. Alejandro Perez via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
- Diego Sanchez def. Mickey Gall via second-round TKO (4:13)
- Edmen Shahbazyan def. Charles Byrd via first-round TKO (0:38)
- Macy Chiasson def. Gina Mazany via first-round TKO (1:49)
- Hannah Cifers def. Polyana Viana via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman was expected to be one of the toughest challenges of Tyron Woodley's welterweight title reign. That turned out to be an understatement.
Usman put on a stunning performance, not just challenging Woodley but dominating him in every aspect of the fight. The Nigerian Nightmare lived up to his moniker, staying in front of Woodley's face and forcing him against the cage all night and winning round after round.
There were moments in which it looked like Usman would get the finish, but Woodley hung in tough.
After four consecutive title defenses, the end of the Woodley era seems to open the division up quite a bit. Colby Covington is likely who is waiting on the new champion, but there are lots of interesting options with Woodley being dethroned.
Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
It would be completely appropriate for Ben Askren's UFC debut to be described as "Funky." The highly anticipated debut for the former Bellator and ONE star scored a controversial first-round submission win over Robbie Lawler.
It was a tale of two interesting stoppage decisions from referee Herb Dean.
First, there was the beginning of the fight in which Askren was dropped on his head by Lawler and forced to hold on for dear life as Dean gave him the benefit of the doubt. If the fight had been called there, few would have had an argument against it.
Then, the controversy really started. After working back into position against the former champion, Askren secured a bulldog choke on Lawler that appeared to be on the chin. Dean called the fight, believing that Lawler was out, but it was clear once it had been called that he was still conscious.
The controversial win moves Askren to a perfect 19-0 in his career. The UFC didn't bring him in to just be a gatekeeper. This won't be his last time in the spotlight, and the next time he's fighting, it just might be for a belt.
Weili Zhang vs. Tecia Torres
Weili Zhang aced her toughest test to date in Tecia Torres. Coming into UFC 235 with an 18-fight win streak and questions about how she could handle the next step up in competition, she showcased a well-rounded game in picking up a unanimous-decision win.
Zhang was able to showcase multiple aspects of her game, out-landing Torres with volume, taking Torres' back at one point and recovering from the few negative positions Torres gained.
Zhang is now 3-0 since entering the UFC in August 2018.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
For a moment, it looked like Cody Garbrandt was going to reintroduce himself as a title contender. But in the next moment, he suffered a severe case of deja vu.
Once again, No Love was drawn into a brawl and was betrayed by his chin. In the final minute of the round, Garbrandt began throwing bombs at Pedro Munhoz, looking for the early finish, but the caution he threw to the wind wasn't there when he needed it.
Instead, Munhoz found a home for his own swinging right hand, floored Garbrandt and finished the bout with nine seconds left in the first round.
It's quite a fall for the 27-year-old. He's now lost three straight fights by knockout after capturing the bantamweight title in 2016.
For Munhoz, this is the biggest win for him yet and should have him in the discussion for some pretty big fights at 135 in the near future.