Jon Jones will fight Anthony Smith to defend title at UFC 235

Alex Volkanovski starring as UFC featherweight in post Conor McGregor era

Alex Volkanovski starring as UFC featherweight in post Conor McGregor era

Irregularities in Jones' drug-testing prior to UFC 232 forced the late change of venue from Las Vegas to California after the NAC withdrew the fighter's license, and White says that this hurdle must be overcome in order for the fight with Smith to take place.

UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones will apparently be making a quick turnaround and defending his title at March's UFC 235 event in Las Vegas. Dana White confirmed his plans with TMZ; the UFC president has chosen Anthony Smith from the list of hopefuls clamoring for Jones' belt.

USADA has exonerated Jones of any wrongdoing, claiming that the latest positive test is a residual effect from his previous ingestion of the substance and he's already been previously suspended 15 months for that doping violation.

Assuming Jones gets cleared, he would face Smith in the main event on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Due to the circumstances of that test result, however, Nevada would have required an emergency hearing to license Jones.

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Fighting out of JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jones reclaimed his 205-pound title by defeating Gustafsson via third-round TKO last weekend in Los Angeles.

After going 4-3 in the UFC's middleweight division over the course of two separate stints with the promotion, Smith made a move to light heavyweight last June and from then until now has racked up three straight wins over two former champions and a former title challenger.

Earlier this week, Smith explained that he was the only logical choice to get the next shot at Jones, especially considering his run through the light heavyweight division in 2018.

"Any time, any place, anywhere, I'm ready", Smith said. I think that's gotta be next. I think I'm the next guy. "I'll fight Jon this weekend if he wants to".

Jones (23-1) is expected to appear before the Nevada commission on January 29.

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