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3 Mar, 2019 07:38

From 'GOAT' to 'idiot': Jon Jones' UFC 235 victory over Anthony Smith met with mixed reaction

From 'GOAT' to 'idiot': Jon Jones' UFC 235 victory over Anthony Smith met with mixed reaction

Jon Jones showed once again why he is considered to be the finest talent in mixed martial arts history with a decisive five-round mauling of Anthony Smith at UFC 235, but – typical of the man – it didn't come without controversy.

Despite gliding through another top class world title bout with ruthless efficiency, Jones, a fighter who has found himself tangled in several self-made webs throughout his career, nearly became his own worst enemy once again – and it was perhaps the closest he has ever come to losing a UFC world title bout.

Also on rt.com Jon Jones cruises to victory over Anthony Smith at UFC 235

Late in the fourth round and following the type of drawn out beating predicted by the bookmakers who had Smith listed as a longshot underdog, Jones threw a knee to his (clearly) downed opponent. 

Given the blow was an illegal one, Smith was technically entitled to declare himself unfit to continue at which point he would have been declared the champion and Jones disqualified. The only loss of Jones' career to this point was a disqualification for an incorrectly thrown downward elbow against Matt Hammil several years ago.

Smith, to his credit, said after the fight that he didn't want to win a world title in that manner and plowed ahead to the inevitable lob-sided decision loss. 

Jones' performance, as well as his knee, has been the main topic of discussion in the fallout of what was an archetypal show from a fighter who so often blurs the line between excellence and controversy.