Then it was light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' turn.
The preliminary card will also see a fascinating fight between Jeremy Stephens and Zabit Magomedsharipov while a potential Jon Jones opponent in Johnny Walker makes a quick turnaround to face Misha Cirkunov.
"I feel like I'll move up to heavyweight on my own terms when I feel like the UFC is playing ball with me contractually to entertain that".
-1000: Jon Jones moneyline to beat Anthony Smith.
Jones is one of the best athletes we've seen in MMA and his intelligence in the cage is near-faultless. Askren never betrayed much dissatisfaction with his situation, praising the promotions that employed him while the UFC ignored him. A victory over Askren won't get him back into title contention immediately, but it could set him up for another big fight that could get him there later this year.
Usman won via a unanimous decision capturing scores of 50-44, 50-44, and 50-45 on the judges' scorecard.
Covington nearly had a fight booked with Woodley for UFC 228, however he suffered a nasal injury and was unable to go through with the bout. While their strikes might be packed with power, the fights can be lumbering and lacking in action.
While this is certainly a fight that could go either way, Woodley (-175) has been made a slight favorite over Usman (+145), with Woodley's ability to go on the offensive as a striker when he needs to likely giving him the advantage. I always envisioned that [being a champion] and having Dana wrapping that belt around me and just knowing all those things I was fighting for.
Captured Indian pilot freed by Pakistan in attempt to calm tensions
In his missive Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "India's happiness on return of Wing Commander Abhinandan is unprecedented". Indian media reports claimed that Pakistan had rejected Indian request for sending the arrested pilot to New Delhi by air.
"I want to f-- that guy up so bad".
Instead, Jones was deducted two points for the one offence which just goes to show how seriously the referee took the foul and "Bones" was warned going into the final round that any further indiscretions would not be tolerated.
Former champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler has become lost in the shuffle since his last appearance in 2017.
"So, you know, he realised that I was the biggest draw". The victory improved Usman's UFC record to 10-0.
Other fights on the UFC 235 card include a welterweight clash between Robbie Lawler (+225) and Ben Askren (-285), as well as a women's strawweight fight that sees Weili Zhang (-145) take on Tecia Torres (+115).
In fairness to Lawler, he couldn't have dealt with the defeat any better as he accepted Dean's mistake, congratulated Askren and even applauded respectfully when the official result was announced.
"Marty fought like a b***h", Askren said bluntly shortly after Usman defeated Woodley.
"I think that's the pressure". I really do, or I wouldn't be here.