It means Garbrandt needs a big, impressive win over a seasoned opponent in Pedro Munhoz this weekend to book himself into a potential title eliminator bout.
As Smith struggled to his feet following a pummelling, Jones kneed him to the head while still on the ground. Referee Herb Dean deducted two points from Jones, who apologized to Smith after the bell.
Before you lock in any UFC 235 picks, check out what incomparable MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say. "Some days you're going to look awesome, and some days at work you're not going to perform at the level you hold yourself to". This is Jones' second fight since coming back from suspension, and the Champion plans to fight quite a few more times this year.
Victory over Cirkunov would propel Walker into the pack of contenders in the UFC's 205-pound light-heavyweight division.
The main card for UFC 235 is absolutely loaded.
But Jones is not taking Smith lightly ahead of their fight and when asked about his rival, the 31-year-old called him a "very worthy opponent". I have never had someone talk to me while I'm hitting them. He was supposed to be the future, after all, only for the game to carry on without him because of his inability to get out of his own way.
Trump invokes ‘socialist nightmare’ ahead of 2020
Also, the president concluded a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi without reaching a denuclearisation deal. They had complained when Trump said at a Hanoi news conference that he believed Kim had nothing to do with Warmbier's death.
Kamaru Usman has a title shot Saturday, in large part, because of what he was able to do to Rafael Dos Anjos in November.
"I just felt like Ben wanted to compete against the best guys, be treated fairly, be paid well and keep dominating, so I didn't know if he had to be in the UFC to actually facilitate those wants and needs", Woodley said.
"I might not be the best striker in the world and I might not be the best pure wrestler in the world", he said. Woodley hasn't been completely convincing since claiming the welterweight belt from Lawler back in 2016. Hey, do you want Tyron Woodley to shine your rim some more buddy?
"I think traditional martial artists will like this card", Jones said.
Smith, a tough veteran fighter from Texas, got a title shot when Jones decided to make a quick return to the cage. "Hopefully we can run this back and I can have a different performance".
Although the unbeaten former collegiate wrestling star had dominated competition around the world for almost a decade, his tactical fighting style and his personal beefs with UFC President Dana White had kept him off the sport's biggest stage - and Askren insists he was at peace with it all.
And with fellow countryman Thiago "Marreta" Santos already right in the mix for a title shot, a win for Walker could see another heavy-handed Brazilian join the queue of fighters looking to battle for the belt in 2019. "I was mostly surprised at how quickly he got me up and down".