SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/6: UFC 235 card comes together with Woodley-Usman and Jones-Smith pending commission approval

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Dec 29, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) exits the octogon after his victory over Alexander Gustafsson (not pictured) during UFC 232 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith set for UFC 235

After spending quite a bit of time on the shelf it seems as though Jon Jones is doing all that he can to make up for it. Just days removed from regaining his UFC light heavyweight championship, Jones has been booked against rising contender Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2. One caveat though is that Jones must first be cleared by the Nevada Athletic Commission if he wants to compete. The card is also set to feature a welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman, as well as the UFC debut of former Bellator and One welterweight champion, Ben Askren.

Brock Lesnar still owes $250,000 to NSAC

Brock Lesnar was hit with a $250,000 fine and 12-month suspension following a UFC 200 drug test failure. While Lesnar has served his suspension, it seems as though the hold up at this point could be that he hasn’t paid the fine. Lesnar will not be allowed to compete in Nevada (or likely anywhere in the U.S.) until he pays the fine. According to the commission, Lesnar will have the option of paying the fine outright or setting up a payment plan.

Ryan Hall planning return to featherweight

Fresh off the biggest win of his career over former World Champion BJ Penn, BJJ ace Ryan Hall has announced plans to return to the featherweight division.

“I’ll be going back to featherweight,” Hall told Luke Thomas during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “But if there’s anybody really interesting at lightweight, I would always be happy to fight. But I weighed in without cutting any weight below the lightweight limit, so I think featherweight would be more prudent.”

Hall first came onto the scene in the UFC via winning The Ultimate Fighter season 22 in 2015 but since then he has only competed on two occasions. He has stated that he will only compete against notable competition or fighters that he considers being challenging. Hopefully, 2019 will provide more opportunities for the BJJ World Champion to compete inside the octagon.

Sunday Notebook

-Ben Rothwell vs. Blagoy Ivanov is scheduled for an undisclosed March event.

In case you missed it

ROUNDTABLE: What should Jon Jones’ 3 fights for 2019 be? (Part 1)

MMA YEAR IN REVIEW: November sees Cormier retain, while Chuck and Tito return

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