(Reuters) – UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones cruised to a smooth victory over Anthony Smith, and Kamaru Usman has become the primary African-born champion as he defeated Tyrone Woodley for the welterweight identify on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Smith lived up to his “Lionheart” nickname, surviving five grueling five-minute rounds in opposition to one of the most dominant opponents of all time. However, the judges gave the reigning champion a complete victory at UFC 235.
The 31-12 months-antique New Yorker managed the fight from beginning to finish, using a dizzying array of kicks to govern the gap and out-wrestling Smith towards the fence.
The most effective risk to Jones came in the ultimate seconds of the fourth spherical while he landed an unlawful left knee to the pinnacle of Smith, who had one hand on the ground.
The challenger would be awarded a win using disqualification if he told the referee he became not able to retain. However, he fought on earlier than in the end losing the decision.
“I desired to win it, I didn’t want to scouse borrow it,” Smith stated in the cage.
Nigerian-born Kamaru Usman ruled the co-predominant occasion, backing Woodley up in opposition to the fence and ripping dozens of thunderous pictures to the frame, after which taking his opponent to the mat at will.
Known for his tactical acumen in the cage, Woodley by no means had the time or space to use it as Usman swarmed throughout him from the outlet bell.
Despite Usman’s dominance and a late fourth-spherical flurry that rocked Woodley badly, the combat became determined at the judges’ scorecards 50-44, 50-44 and 50-forty five to crown the first African-born UFC champion.
The good deal-expected UFC debut of former Bellator and ONE FC welterweight champ Ben Askren resulted in controversy while referee Herb Dean stopped the fight within the first round, judging Robbie Lawler to have misplaced awareness in a bulldog choke.
Lawler, himself a former UFC welterweight champion, right away protested however to no avail, permitting Askren to keep his unbeaten MMA document.