Despite a sordid history with PEDs in the past, one thing Smith knows is that Jones is a clean athlete heading into tonight’s event.
“It’s expected,” Smith said at the UFC 235 open workouts (via MMA Junkie). “I didn’t have any doubt in my mind. For whatever reason he tends to pulse when he gets close to a fight. I expected it. I would’ve been more shocked if it wasn’t there. It is what it is. I’ve talked to (NSAC executive director) Bob Bennett. We’re good. Bob Bennett’s been doing this a long time and I just don’t think he would put me in a position where someone else starts with a head start. That’s not me giving Jon a pass, though. Obviously there’s been some sort of indiscretion there. At some point in time he’s used PEDs and I don’t think we can argue that. But as far as now: I think Jon is a clean athlete.”
Jones was tested a multitude of times heading into the event, with two of the five tests having adverse findings.
Other fighters have focused a lot of Jones issues with drug tests, but Smith won’t be going down that path.
“I think (Daniel) Cormier and Gustafsson spent a lot of time talking about the negative things that Jon Jones does and who he is a person and all the stuff he has going on,” Smith said. “Listen, Jon Jones does a lot of things right. He does a lot of good things, and that’s what I’m focused on. And all the good things he does in the octagon. That’s all I care about. All the other stuff is a distraction and Cormier and Gustafsson let that distract them and they let Jon win. I’m not going to let Jon emotionally or mentally beat me. It’s not going to happen.”
UFC 235 takes place tonight from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Jon Jones and Anthony Smith headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.