Jon Jones to face Anthony Smith at UFC 235 pending Nevada grants license

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Jon Jones celebrates his third round knockout victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017 to regain the light heavyweight title. (Getty Images)

A week removed from his domination of Alexander Gustafsson, Jon Jones already has another fight set.

TMZ Sports reported Saturday that Jones will fight Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as long as the Nevada State Athletic Commission grants him a license.

“Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd,” UFC president Dana White told TMZ Sports. “Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his light heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a five-round main event at the T-Mobile Arena.”

The reigning light heavyweight champion (and arguably the best MMA fighter of all time) posted an Instagram shot Saturday of himself watching a Smith fight on YouTube in early preparation for their upcoming clash.

 
 
 

 
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So much to study, this is going to be fun

A post shared by Jon Bones Jones (@jonnybones) on

But as White said, this fight can only happen if the Nevada State Athletic Commission grants Jones a license. After Jones tested positive for Turinabol last month, the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t grant him a license, forcing UFC 232 to be moved from Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on one week’s notice.

However, the NSAC’s main reason for denying Jones a license was because it couldn’t swing a hearing on short notice. This time around could be different, especially considering that California State Athletic Commission experts ruled that Jones’s miniscule traces of Turinabol derived from a previous positive test and weren’t ingested prior to his fight against Gustafsson, as reported by TMZ.

In their rematch, Jones pounded Gustafsson for a third-round TKO.

After losing to Thiago Santos last year, Smith closed out the year with victories over Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua and Volkan Oezdemir, who he beat via a third-round rear-naked choke submission back in October.