Mixed Martial Arts: Jon Jones keeps name, Kamaru Usman first Africa-born champ
Anthony Smith and Kamaru Usman became the primary African-born champion as he defeated Tyrone Woodley for the welterweight title on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones cruised to an easy victory over Anthony Smith. Kamaru Usman became the first African-born champion as he defeated Tyrone Woodley for the welterweight identify at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Smith lived as much as his “Lionheart” nickname, surviving 5 grueling 5-minute rounds in opposition to one of the most dominant opponents of all time. However, the judges gave the reigning champion a comprehensive victory at UFC 235.
The 31-yr-old New Yorker managed the fight from beginning to complete, using a dizzying array of kicks to control the space and out-wrestling Smith against the fence.
The simplest risk to Jones got here in the closing seconds of the fourth round when he landed an illegal left knee to the top of Smith, who had one hand at the ground.
The challenger could have been awarded a win by disqualification if he informed the referee he turned into unable to maintain. However, he fought on earlier than in the end losing the selection.
“I desired to win it; I didn’t want to thieve it,” Smith said inside the cage.
Nigerian-born Kamaru Usman ruled the co-major event, backing Woodley up towards the fence and ripping dozens of thunderous photographs to the body, and then taking his opponent to the mat at will.
Known for his tactical acumen within the cage, Woodley never had the time or space to apply it as Usman swarmed throughout him from the hole bell.
Despite Usman’s dominance and a overdue fourth-round flurry that rocked Woodley badly, the fight changed into determined on the judges’ scorecards 50-44, 50-forty four, and 50-45 to crown the primary African-born UFC champion.
The good deal-predicted UFC debut of former Bellator and ONE FC welterweight champ Ben Askren led to controversy. At the same time, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight in the first round, judging Robbie Lawler to have lost recognition in a bulldog choke.
However, Lawler, himself a former UFC welterweight champion, immediately protested to no avail, allowing Askren to maintain his unbeaten MMA document.