Jon Jones had two choices for his next light heavyweight title defense. Those choices being between Dominick Reyes or Corey Anderson.
Anderson comes off a first-round TKO of Johnny Walker, while Reyes just knocked out former 185-pound king Chris Weidman in the first round of their UFC Boston headliner. Ultimately, Jones chose to fight Reyes next.
In the meantime, Anderson is content to wait and fight the winner, but he has also been called out by former title challenger and top-ranked 205-pounder Anthony Smith. Anderson has made it clear he has no interest in fighting Smith right now.
Speaking to the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Smith chimed in on the current situation at 205 pounds. In regards to Jones opting to fight Reyes over Anderson, Smith believes “Bones” simply picked the easier fight. (H/T MMA Junkie)
“I honestly think Jon probably chose the easier opponent between Corey Anderson and Dominick Reyes,” Smith said. “I think that Reyes is absolutely more dangerous, as far as explosiveness and size and his length.
“I think he may give Jon some problems on his feet a little bit and Jon will have to dodge some bullets. But look at everybody Jon’s beat – they’re one-dimensional, and that’s what Jon wants.”
Smith pointed to Reyes’ controversial decision win over Volkan Oezdemir to comment on what he believes are some holes in the heavy-handed prospect’s game.
“Like we’ve seen in the Volkan Oezdemir fight, Dominick Reyes isn’t necessarily dominant on the ground and his takedown defense isn’t that great,” Smith said.
“Even though he was able to stuff some of Weidman’s (takedowns) … he did have some improvements there, but Volkan Oezdemir took him down several times and Jon Jones is a much better wrestler than Volkan Oezdemir, that’s for sure.”
As for Anderson, Smith had nothing but praise for the veteran’s skillset, and deemed him a much more well-rounded fighter than Reyes.
“I think Corey is more well-rounded,” Smith said. “He’s got fundamental boxing. His kicking game isn’t super high level, but he keeps his hands in the right spot. He moves his head well. His wrestling is good.
“His takedown defense is really good. His top pressure is good. His cardio is phenomenal. Corey presents a lot more problems than Dominick Reyes does, so I do think that Jon picked the easier fight.”
Do you think Jones simply chose Reyes because he’s an easier matchup than Anderson?