It wouldn’t be a Jon Jones fight without a little controversy. “Bones” pulled off his first successful UFC light heavyweight title defense since 2015 over the weekend (Sat. March 2, 2019). He defeated Anthony “Lionheart” Smith via unanimous decision in the main event of the UFC 235 pay-per-view (PPV) event.

However, in the fourth round, an illegal knee from “Bones” nearly ended the night in terrible fashion. Jones nailed Smith with a knee while he was considered a downed opponent. Had Smith not been able to continue, he would’ve been declared the winner by disqualification, and the new 205-pound champion of the UFC. Instead, Smith opted to continue fighting and was defeated on the scorecards when it was all said and done.

Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Jones claimed the knee was “totally unintentional”, and credited Smith for not taking the easy way out with the DQ win (via MMA Fighting):

”The illegal knee was totally unintentional,” Jones said. “In the moment I felt his body language rising, and I thought I was gonna time a great head shot right after he got off of his palm. To my understanding, on his finger tips he’s considered standing. His body came up, I threw the kick, I guess his palm was still down. Totally unintentional.

“Hats off to Anthony Smith for having a lion heart. I mean, I think the average person would have used that as a way out and became a world champion. He was tired, he had been hit with a kitchen sink, and, I mean, I did an illegal blow.

“And he decided to allow the fight to continue and I’m so proud of him for just being a real warrior out there and continuing the fight.”