Jon Jones is looking at a quick turnaround, as long as Nevada gives him the thumbs up.
Jones, who regained his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship amid controversy at December's UFC 232 over Alexander Gustafsson looks to be heading for the UFC 235 main event on March 2. His opponent will be Anthony Smith, who has made a splash since his arrival on the light heavyweight scene last year.
TMZ spoke with UFC President Dana White, who noted there is a hurdle in the way in the form of the Nevada States Athletic Commission.
"Later this month, Jon Jones will file an application for licensure with the NSAC in order to compete at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd," said White. "Provided that license is granted, Jones will be defending his Light Heavyweight title against Anthony Smith in a 5 round main event at the T-Mobile Arena."
UFC 232 moved from Las Vegas to California on less than a week's notice when the UFC became uncomfortable that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would approve Jon Jones to fight due to an atypical finding in a drug test leading up to the fight saw trace amounts of turinabol in his system. Jones has had a storied history with drug tests and out of the cage controversies that have led to him losing his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship twice. Ultimately, Jones would stop Alexander Gustafsson en route to regaining the title, which was vacated by longtime rival Daniel Cormier the day prior.
Anthony Smith moved up to 205 pounds after competing for years as a middleweight and was met with instant success, After defeating Rashad Evans in June and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in July, Smith put away former UFC title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in October.
Smith and Jones exchanged words after UFC 232 when Jones accused Smtih of using his Fox analyst platform to get a fight with him. Days later, Jones admitted on Instagram that he was studying tape for a potential fight with Smith.
UFC 235 takes place March 2 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fightful will have full, live coverage of the show, as well as a post-show podcast.
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