UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones makes the first title defense of his second reign as division champion this Saturday, March 2, against the No. 3-ranked contender Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235. In the co-main event, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley puts his title on the line as he defends his belt against Kamaru Usman, who is the No. 2-ranked contender and riding a 13-fight win streak.
Live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the main card is on UFC pay-per-view, starting at 10 p.m. ET, with four preliminary bouts on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. Early prelims begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass. Fans will be able to purchase the PPV on ESPN.com/UFC235. ESPN’s coverage of UFC 235 also includes live weigh-in, pre- and post shows and Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
Calling the live action will be lead play-by-play man, Jon Anik, alongside former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Joe Rogan with analysis. Megan Olivi will handle reporting duties. The desk team will be on site with Jon Anik on hosting duty and featuring analysis from former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former UFC light heavyweight fighter Chael Sonnen. Production for all UFC events on ESPN and ESPN+ is provided by UFC. UFC’s Spanish-language commentary for UFC Fight Night on ESPN will be provided by Victor Dávila (play-by-play), Fabricio Werdum (analyst) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (analyst).
ESPN+ will feature the exclusive UFC Fight Night Pre-Show to give fans all the information they need to get ready for Saturday’s event. The Pre-Show will be on-site in Las Vegas and available on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 1. ESPN+ will also feature the exclusive UFC Fight Night Post Show, live immediately following the event.
On the ESPN App and ESPN.com fans can turn to MMA Fightcenter, the new live, data-driven digital experience featuring live fight statistics (including strikes – by significance and body region, time in control, takedowns, and more), fight cards for every fight from UFC events, fighter profile cards and more. Each Fight Night, MMA Fightcenter will visualize the strikes and damage absorbed by fighters through dynamic color-represented animations, providing fight fans an innovative companion experience to the live event.
ESPN.com will release exclusive features on Anthony Smith, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Ben Askren from Brett Okamoto, plus offer a complete breakdown and betting guide to the fight. Okamoto will also be in Las Vegas and provide on-site coverage throughout the weekend. The Undefeated will publish a feature on Kamaru Usman from Jerry Bembry.
UFC fans can tune in to ESPNEWS throughout fight day on Saturday, March 2 for eight hours of the UFC’s best moments leading up to UFC 235. Coverage includes the 30-minute ESPN original “Unlocking Victory: UFC 235” as well as past fights from UFC 235 competitors Tyron Woodley, Robbie Lawler and Cody Garbrandt. At 9 a.m. ET fans will also be treated to a full replay of December’s historic PPV event UFC 232: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2.
On ESPN+, UFC is always on – 24/7/365 – with anytime access to more than 200 hours of high-quality, on-demand UFC content. ESPN+ also brings fans the original weekly series, Ariel & The Bad Guy, featuring MMA journalist and insider Ariel Helwani and professional fighter Chael Sonnen. Fans can also watch episodes of the groundbreaking new documentary series UFC: Destined, exclusively on ESPN+. This week’s episode features Gracie vs. Caceres (Part 2), with behind-the-scenes access during and after the outcome of the fight.
A Massive March of UFC on ESPN+
March will be a massive month of exclusive UFC action on ESPN+, with three live and exclusive UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ events and a full lineup of original programming and an on-demand library of hundreds of hours of UFC content.
The action ESPN+ starts on March 9, with UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Lewis vs. Dos Santos from INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. Headlining the night will be a showdown between two top-ten heavyweights, Derrick Lewis (no.3) and Junior Dos Santos (no. 8).
One week later on March 16, the octagon arrives in London with a pair of ranked English welterweights in action at the O2 Arena for UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Till vs. Masvidal. Darren Till (no. 3), coming off the first loss of his career in a UFC 228 title bout against Tyron Woodley, faces off against Jorge Masvidal (no.10) in the main event, while the co-main event features fellow Brit Leon Edwards (no. 9) taking on Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson (no. 12).
On March 23 the action returns Stateside, with UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Thompson vs. Pettis from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The main event offers another Welterweight battle, when Anthony Pettis (no. 8 Lightweight) moves up to 170 pounds to make his UFC Welterweight debut against Stephen Thompson (no. 4).
March 9 UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Lewis vs. Dos Santos Wichita, Kansas
March 16 UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Till vs. Masvidal London, England
March 23 UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Thompson vs. Pettis Nashville, Tennessee
As always, ESPN+ will feature exclusive UFC Fight Night Pre-Show before each event and UFC Fight Night Post Show, immediately following each event – giving fans all the latest information, insight and analysis on both sides of the fight night.
Also in March, ESPN+ will also debut the next chapter of its exclusive all-access series, in March, with UFC: Destined – Waterson vs. Kowalkiewicz, debuting in the build-up to the March 30 UFC Fight Night on ESPN and taking fans behind the scenes with the two dynamic Women’s Strawweight fighters.
For fight fans, UFC is always on – 24/7/365 – with anytime access to more than 200 hours of high-quality, on-demand UFC content, including the UFC’s greatest fights, biggest stars and full replays of select events and more. ESPN+ also brings fans the original weekly series Ariel & The Bad Guy, featuring MMA journalist and insider Ariel Helwani and professional fighter Chael Sonnen.