SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/3: Dana White names his ideal next challengers for Jon Jones and Kamaru Usman, more UFC 235 post-fight notes

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 2, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) and Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s Next?

“Who’s next?” That’s always the question fans and media are asking after a UFC title fight. More often than not, we don’t get that answer right away. But Saturday night, UFC president Dana White let it be known, who he felt should be next in line for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and new welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Both Jones and Usman tore through their respective competition taking easy five-round decisions. Rematches should be out of the question although Tyron Woodley feels he has earned a second crack at Usman.

In Jones’ case, White thinks that last week’s main event winner, Thiago Santos should be the one to get the shot at “Bones.”

“I love the Thiago Santos fight,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “I love that fight. I would love to see him vs. Jon Jones.”

Santos has won three in a row at light heavyweight, all by stoppage, including last week’s TKO of Jan Blachowicz in Prague. Santos also owns a win over Jones’ challenger last night, Anthony Smith, at middleweight last year.

As for new champ Usman, his next challenger made himself loud and clear (literally) all week. It turns out his antics, with the megaphone and title belt worked, as White feels that former interim champ Colby Covington should get the next shot.

Covington was cageside for the Woodley-Usman fight and reportedly was getting into altercations with Tyron Woodley’s family, so White just put everything on the table in order to keep the peace.

“So I just told him, ‘Listen, you’re going to get this title shot. Don’t f*ck this up. Just relax. You and all your guys relax. If anything goes down, let our people handle it, and we’re going to take you in the back in a little while here and do some interviews.’ That’s all I said to him.”

So with both Jones and Usman coming out of UFC 235 relatively unscathed, and their next challengers already lined up, it might not be long until we see them both back in the cage.

Sunday Notebook

-Anthony Smith called Jon Jones a “beatable man” at last night’s press conference. “I didn’t walk out of there thinking, ‘He’s better than I thought.’ When ‘Rampage’ lost to Jon and he stood there and said, ‘This kid is good,’ almost laying out to Jon – I don’t feel like that.

-Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett told MMAJunkie that he had no issue with the stoppage in the Ben Askren-Robbie Lawler fight. “He was clearly out … and Herb decided to pull the plug and say he was submitted.”

-UFC 235 drew a reported attendance of 14,790 with a $4 million live gate.

-Kamaru Usman said he was fighting Tyron Woodley with a broken foot last night.

-Post-fight bonuses went to Diego Sanchez and Johnny Walker for Performance of the Night and to Pedro Munhoz and Cody Garbrandt for Fight of the Night.

In case you missed it

MEIGS: On Jon Jones and Cody Garbrandt – The continued rise of the GOAT and the downward spiral of a former champion

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