Anthony Smith likes his chances to defeat UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones this weekend at UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, even if the oddsmakers don’t.
“14 to 1?” Smith asked in a flabbergasted tone when MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi told him the long odds he faced as the underdog. “Who makes these f—-ing odds?”
Smith is 31-13 in MMA and 7-3 in the UFC. The 30-year-old submitted Volkan Oezdemir in October at UFC Fight Night 138 in his last fight and is currently ranked No. 3 in the division behind UFC heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson.
“Jon Jones is 14-0-1 in his last fifteen fights,” continued Smith. “I’m 14-2 in my last 16. 14 to 1? Like, come on. That’s crazy. You could put a dead body off the couch in there and it should be better than 14-1. That’s insane.”
Jones is 23-1 in MMA, and 17-1 in the UFC. He finished Gustafsson in three rounds at UFC 232 in December 2018. The 31-year-old is considered by most to be one of the best MMA fighters in history, and there’s nothing seen in recent fights to suggest he’s done carving out his impressive legacy just yet.
“You know, the oddsmakers make the odds and that’s their job,” said Smith. “My job is to fight. It’s more comical than anything. I mean ...J esus Christ! Are you serious? That’s nuts, man.”
Perhaps the funniest thing about the whole exchange is the odds themselves. While Jones is a significant favorite to defeat Smith on Saturday night, the odds aren’t really anywhere close to the number suggested by Raimondi.
New Jersey-based bookmaker 888Sport is closer to 1/8 for Jones, with Smith a 5/1 or 6/1 underdog at +550. Most bookmakers are somewhere in that range of numbers or very close to it.
Regardless, Smith seems keen on his role as the underdog in the fight. Who knows? It might even be better for him as a fighter to actually think the oddsmakers are that against him.
“I’ve been an underdog my whole life,” said Smith. “I would imagine that in most of my UFC fights I was the underdog and that’s how it is.”
Smith seems to revel in the idea of being a big underdog primed for a huge upset. He’s been adamantly telling anyone who would listen that he would be the fighter to defeat Jones and now he has his chance.
“I think that people need to tune in because I’m the guy who is going to come across the octagon and not care who Jon Jones is,” Smith said. “I don’t care what he’s going to do. I don’t care who he’s beat. I don’t care how many titles he’s won.”He’s just like everyone else. I’m going to come across the cage, and I’m going to swing hammers until the last seconds tick off the clock or until he’s unconscious.”