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The A-Side Live Chat: UFC 235, Jones vs. Smith, Woodley vs. Usman, Ben Askren debut, Poirier vs. Holloway, more

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This is The A-Side Live Chat on MMA Fighting.

Today on the show, we are live from Las Vegas and will be talking all things UFC 235.

Jon Jones will defend his UFC light heavyweight title in the main event against Anthony Smith. Can Smith pull off the historic upset? Has the drug-testing storyline around Jones moved on? What would a victory over Smith here mean?

In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley puts his welterweight belt on the line against Kamaru Usman. Would a victory here for Woodley finally start getting him his due respect? What are Usman’s paths to victory? Is Colby Covington’s absence here the elephant in the room?

We’ll also discuss Ben Askren’s UFC debut on the card against the returning Robbie Lawler. What should we expect from Askren, who has gotten over very quickly among UFC fans? Will we see the Lawler of old despite coming back from knee surgery? Who needs this victory more?

In addition, the rest of the card is very intriguing. Cody Garbrandt faces Pedro Munhoz and Tecia Torres meets rising Chinese prospect Weili Zhang to round out the main card. Can Garbrandt rebound off those two losses to T.J. Dillashaw? Can Zhang announce her arrival in the women’s strawweight division with a win over Torres? Are there any other fights worth keeping on eye on, such as Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov?

We will also speak about the booking of Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236 on April 13. Is this the right matchup? Does an interim belt make sense here? Where does Tony Ferguson factor into all of this?

Also on tap, we’ll chat about Georges St-Pierre’s retirement press conference last week. Was this the right time for GSP to go out? Will not seeing him against Khabib Nurmagomedov be a big loss?

If there is time, we can also talk about UFC Prague, which featured Thiago Santos knocking out Jan Blachowicz in the main event and Stefan Struve essentially retiring after taking out Marcos Rogerio de Lima in the co-headliner. Also, Bellator 217 was over the weekend, featuring a big bounce-back win by James Gallagher. Marc attended the ONE Championship open workout Tuesday and he can chat about his discussions with Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Sage Northcutt.

There is plenty to talk about, so join us to discuss all of the above and much more. All is up for discussion. The chat will start at our time of 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.

As always, we’ll post the video window as the event draws near and answer any questions you might have if you post them in the comments below. For the comments you deem the most deserving, please click the “rec” button. Comments in green will get first priority.

Please link this page and use the hashtags #theaside or #chatwrappers on Twitter when you’re watching to tell everyone you’re taking part with us.

Audio-only versions of the podcast can be found on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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