Jones dominant from start, easily keeps UFC title

LAS VEGAS — If there is such a thing as a casual UFC title defense, Jon Jones’ victory against Anthony Smith was it.

Jones (24-1) defended his light heavyweight title in a tepid, five-round title fight on Saturday, outpointing Smith (31-14) on all three judges scorecards 48-44. The 205-pound title fight headlined UFC 235 inside T-Mobile Arena.

The only reason it wasn’t a complete 50-44 shutout for Jones was due to an illegal knee in the fourth round. Referee Herb Dean docked Jones two points for the knee, which Jones landed to the side of Smith’s head as he was considered a downed opponent.

Jones, 31, cruised to the lopsided decision rather effortlessly. At the same time, he never appeared close to finishing Smith, and there were times in the fight it seemed Smith was content to survive rather than take risks in search of an upset.

“This MMA thing is really hard,” Jones said. “Some days you’ll look amazing. Some days at work, you won’t perform to the level you hold yourself to.

“With that being said, hats off to Anthony Smith. His reputation is known to be so durable, and now I know why his name is ‘Lionheart.’ I’ve never had someone talk to me while I’m hitting them. This guy is so durable. He’s like the terminator.”

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