UFC 235 Results, updates: Round-by-round, fight-by-fight coverage
The UFC 235 main event has Jon Jones (23-1) defending his light-heavyweight title against challenger Anthony Smith (31-13). Join us for round-by-round, fight-by-fight coverage from Las Vegas. The card also features: Tyron Woodley (19-3-1) vs. Kamaru Usman (14-1) for Woodley’s welterweight belt; Ben Askren (18-0) vs. Robbie Lawler (28-12), welterweights; Tecia Torres (10-3) vs. Weili Zhang (18-1), women’s straw-weights; Cody Garbrandt (11-2) vs. Pedro Munhoz (17-3), bantamweights.
UFC light heavyweight title: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith
Jon Jones is universally viewed as one of the best fighters of all time and he is looking to fight more often after drug test failures and out of competition issues kept him out of action for long stretches in recent years. Anthony Smith is a massive underdog. He earned this shot with three straight wins, albeit against a couple of fighters past their prime.
Round 1. Smith lands a hard leg kick, the first solid shot by either fighter. Jones swings wildly a couple times and doesn’t land. Jones does connect with a spinning back kick to the body. Jones misses with an ax kick. Jones lands another spinning back kick to the body. Smith lands a head kick. Jones catches the leg and clinches. Uneventful round. 10-9 Jones.
Round 2. Jones opens with a few kicks at different angles. Jones connects with a front kick that forces Smith to back away. Jones lands a spinning elbow. Jones is continually attacking with kicks; those have been his primary weapon in this bout. Both men land punches in an exchange. 10-9 Jones.
Round 3. Jones looks for a takedown. Smith stops him but Jones does land a heavy knee to the body in the process. They end up in a clinch stalemate for an extended period before Jones finally slams Smith down with two minutes left. Nothing really happens with Smith and Jones on the ground. 10-9 Jones.
Round 4. Jones attacks with kicks including a hard spinning back kick to the body and then follows that with some elbows to the head. Jones throws Smith to the ground. Smith is bleeding now from the face. Jones lands some punches on the ground. Smith stands up but then is taken back down. Jones lands some punches, elbows and knees on the ground. Jones lands an illegal knee to the head as Smith is still down. Referee Herb Dean deducts two points for some reason. 10-8 Jones, so 8-8 with the point deduction.
Round 5. Smith comes out swinging with power punches. Jones shoots in for takedown but doesn’t get it. They end up back in a clinch. Jones lands some punches and shoulder strikes but isn’t doing all that much while Smith is just hanging on. This hasn’t been a fan friendly fight. 10-9 Jones, 48-44 Jones.
Winner: Jon Jones, unanimous decision (48-44, 48-44, 48-44).
That wasn’t a fight that’s going to be talked about when remembering Jones’ career. It was a flat fight where Jones was clearly better. Questions remain about how good Jones is now relative to a few years back before all the issues arose
UFC welterweight title: Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman
As Tyron Woodley continues to successfully defend the UFC welterweight title, he is establishing himself as one of the best welterweights in the history of the sport. With excellent wrestling and striking, he poses a difficult challenge for any opponent. Kamaru Usman is younger and longer with an excellent wrestling pedigree of his own. Usman has won nine UFC fights in a row to earn this title shot.
Round 1. Usman immediately moves into range and Woodley throws a right hand. Usman goes for a takedown and Woodley grabs a guillotine. Woodley doesn’t have Usman in danger and Usman just repeatedly attacks Woodley’s body. Woodley looks to stand up while Usman lands a few knees to the body. Woodley stands up and separates. Usman throws a lead jab and then shoots in for another takedown attempt. Woodley blocks it. Usman lands a straight right hand and returns to the clinch. Usman can’t set anything up. Usman and Woodley both land punches from close range before they end up back in another clinch. 10-9 Usman.
Round 2. Usman again throws a jab and then moves in for a takedown. He can’t get it but Usman lands a heavy elbow on the break. Woodley is bleeding right around the eye. Usman then scores a takedown and secures full mount. Usman lands some punches and elbows from there although on balance Woodley is doing a good job defending. Usman looks to set up an arm triangle choke but Woodley prevents that. 10-8 Usman.
Round 3. Woodley throws one of those big right hands as Usman moves in. They end up back in the clinch where Usman lands one punch after another to the body. They break but Usman goes right back in to the clinch where Usman is landing punches and knees. After a break, Woodley lands a nice shot as Usman is moving in. Usman gets that clinch again. 10-9 Usman.
Round 4. Woodley lands an uppercut as Usman comes in. Woodley grabs a guillotine choke and pulls guard but he loses the choke in the process and ends up on his back. Usman uses some shoulder strikes and controlling Woodley. They are stood up and end up back in the clinch. Woodley lands punches while Usman lands knees. Usman opens up with punches and has Woodley in trouble. Woodley is getting punished but fires back with a knee. Usman is beating Woodley up by the cage. Woodley’s facial expression at the close of the round is not good at all. 10-8 Usman.
Round 5. Usman moves right back in for the clinch. Woodley grabs a guillotine choke. Usman slams him down and attempts a Von Flue choke from the top. Woodley gives up the guillotine. Usman lands some punches and elbows to the body and then attacks the head as well. Woodley looks to finally stand back up at the end of the round but Usman won’t even allow him that. 10-8 Usman, 50-42 Usman.
Winner: Kamaru Usman, unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45).
That was a masterful performance by Usman, who put it on a great champion and dominated for 25 minutes. Usman has been underappreciated for some time and he proved his skill level in that bout. It was the sort of performance that makes you think he might be able to hold that title for a while.
Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
Robbie Lawler is the former UFC welterweight champion and he has beaten some of the top names in the sport. He welcomes to the UFC Ben Askren, the former Bellator and One champion. Askren is unbeaten in MMA and is an NCAA champion and Olympic wrestler.
Round 1. Askren immediately grabs a hold of Lawler. Lawler slams Askren down and opens up with a vicious series of punches and elbows. Askren is just barely holding on. Askren gets up and eats a hard knee to the body. Askren walks into an uppercut. he’s bleeding badly. Askren clinches again. Askren lands a knee but Lawler answers with a knee of his own. Askren finally gets a takedown with two minutes left. Askren looks for a bulldog choke and the fight is stopped.
Winner: Ben Askren, submission, round 1.
That’s sure to be a controversial stoppage. Lawler’s arm dropped down quickly, giving the impression that he was choked unconscious. Referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight. Lawler protested immediately but it certainly seemed possible that Lawler went unconscious and then woke up. Either way, that was a heck of a comeback from Ben Askren after getting badly damaged at the beginning of the fight and barely surviving.
Weili Zhang vs. Tecia Torres
Weili Zhang has won 18 straight fights and is looking to become the first UFC star fighter from China. UFC has invested in that market and is hoping with its martial arts tradition that it can become an MMA hotbed. Tecia Torres is likely the toughest opponent thus far in Zhang’s career and Torres is motivated coming off two straight losses against elite fighters.
Round 1. Both fighters come out throwing plenty of kicks. Zhang looks for a takedown in a scramble but Torres avoids that and returns to the feet. Zhang again looks for a takedown and she jumps on Torres’ back in the effort. Torres is eventually able to get out of that. Torres gets Zhang down late but Zhang rolls through and takes top position at the close of the round. 10-9 Zhang.
Round 2. Zhang opens with a few low kicks. Torres and Zhang both connect with punches on the other in an exchange. Torres lands a nice combination of punches, one of the best for her in the fight. Zhang looks for a takedown. Torres defends well initially but Zhang is able to get her down and lands a few punches. Torres is able to reverse into top position and hit Zhang a few times before the round concludes. 10-9 Torres.
Round 3. Torres connects with a few heavy punches early. She has turned things around from an output standpoint in the second and third rounds of this fight. Zhang clinches and looks for a takedown but Torres blocks it. Zhang gets a takedown at the midpoint of the round. Zhang lands a series of punches and elbows from in Torres’ half guard. Zhang keeps landing until the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Zhang, 29-28 Zhang.
Winner: Weili Zhang, unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
It looked like Zhang’s takedown in the third might have been the difference in the fight but ultimately the judges had her ahead anyway. That was a competitive fight and certainly not a dominant performance from Zhang but she got the win against a ranked opponent. It also likely showed her she has some things to work on if she is going to make the top of her division. Zhang confirmed as much in her post fight interview.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
Cody Garbrandt won the UFC bantamweight title and was a burgeoning star of the sport before losing twice via knockout to T.J. Dillashaw. Now Garbrandt will seek to rebound against Pedro Munhoz, who has won 6 of 7 and now receives the biggest opportunity of his career.
Round 1. Munhoz catches a kick and looks for a leg submission but he can’t get anything and gives it up. Both fighters are relying more on one strike at a time rather than throwing combinations, particularly Munhoz. Munhoz keeps attacking the leg of Garbrandt and Garbrandt is walking a little awkwardly. Garbrandt is stunned following a clash of heads and Munhoz follows him to the ground. Garbrandt gets up and comes up with a wild knee that connects. Garbrandt then starts wildly swinging and Munhoz swings back. They go toe to toe throwing hard punches back and forth, each landing big blows. Finally, in the closing seconds of the round, Munhoz lands a heavy right hook. Garbrandt goes down, Munhoz lands a few more punches on the ground and that’s it.
Winner: Pedro Munhoz, TKO, round 1.
Once again, Garbrandt got reckless while doing well and got knocked out. That’s three straight fights that has happened. He’s a dangerous striker and has great confidence in himself but his chin is a vulnerability and he doesn’t protect it sufficiently against top flight opponents.
Source : latimes.com