Anthony Smith and Volkan Oezdemir will headlining UFC Fight Night Moncton this Saturday Night in a light heavyweight division affair.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones is back in action at UFC 232 following a reduced suspension for a failed drug test in line with UFC 214 and Smith is happy to see Jones back in the Octagon.
“It is really bizarre what’s going on with the division right now, but I think that it’s starting to clear up,” Smith told MMA Fighting. “Regardless of how you feel about Jon Jones and all the stuff that’s going on with him, the division is moving again. The title’s back in rotation and we’re starting to move around a little now, which is a good thing, regardless of how anybody feels about Jon. And I’ll never talk about Jon’s personal life — I will absolutely talk about his steroid use, but as far as his personal life, it is what it is. That’s on him. But it’s moving, and he’s — again, regardless of what you think, Jon Jones deserves to be in that spot. That’s just how it is. So, it’s good for me. I think that if I can win and I can get a dominant finish over Volkan, and with Jon Jones and Gustafsson fighting for it, those are three people out of the way, so I don’t see who else is in front of me. I don’t know else can argue for that title shot after that.”
Jones was expected to serve a multi-year suspension for his second failed drug test and wound up with a 15 month suspension, a situation Smith labels as bullshit.
“I think it’s absolute bullshit. But what do you do about it?” Smith said. “What do we do about it? Nothing. The competitor in me is happy that he’s back, because I 100 percent mean this and I feel it in my soul: I can beat Jon Jones. I have the ability, I have the skill, and I’m probably the only legitimate threat to him right now. And I mean that. That’s not just a sound bite — I 100 percent believe that I can beat Jon Jones. With him getting a long suspension, that kinda looks a little bit different and there’s always going to be those questions. Say I beat Volkan and then I get a title shot against Alexander Gustafsson and I beat him, you’re always going to get the Jon Jones question. I don’t want any questions. I want to be the best in the world and I want everybody to know it. I don’t want the, ‘Well, Jon Jones is suspended, so…’ I don’t want that shit. But the sportsman in me thinks that it’s bullshit. It’s three failed tests and he’s still eligible — how does that happen? I mean, I can break it down that simple, how does that happen?”
UFC Fight Night Moncton is set for Saturday, October 27 from the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada with Anthony Smith and Volkan Oezdemir headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.