UFC 239 Preview: Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos
Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC 239, while two-division champion Amanda Nunes defends her women’s bantamweight crown against Holly Holm in the co-main event. Nitrogen Sports Blog discusses Jones vs. Santos UFC 239 fight and Nunes vs. Holm.
Breakdown of Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos fight on July 6
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada
When: July 6, 2019
Jon Jones (-578) vs. Thiago Santos (+433)
Amanda Nunes (-350) vs. Holly Holm (+296)
UFC 239 Jones vs Santos breakdown
Jones (24-1 1NC) will look to defend his title once again following dominant wins over Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith. However, he now faces a different kind of fighter in Santos (21-6) — an explosive and heavy-handed brawler.
Santos has won eight of his last nine fights, with seven of them coming by way of knockout. It’s clear that “Marreta” has the power to end a fight with a single strike. He also has a respectable 51 percent significant strike accuracy while averaging 5.01 significant strikes landed per minute in the UFC.
However, he’ll have to get in range to connect with Jones, which has proven to be hard for many in the past. Jones already has a massive eight-inch reach advantage, and only absorbs 2.05 significant strikes per minute, not to mention a 65 percent significant strike defense.
Santos will have be cautious trying to get close to Jones as well, as the champion can always counter with devastating elbows and kicks, as he averages a 57 percent significant strike accuracy.
This promises to be a barn burner of a fight, but expect Jones to come out on top, particularly if the fight goes past the first round as Santos has traditionally shown to slow down.
Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm
Nunes (17-4) is already regarded by many as the greatest female fighter of all time, and she can further solidify it with a win over another former champion in Holm (12-4).
The “Lioness” is coming off a spectacular knockout finish over Cris Cyborg to win the featherweight championship, but will now be moving back down to bantamweight. Averaging 4.65 significant strikes per minute, she insists she’s carrying more power even after dropping down, and it will be interesting to see how it holds up against the durable Holm.
Holm is 2-4 in her last six fights, but she has only faced top level competition. Nunes will be her toughest task yet, though, and it’s hard to see her employing a strategy other than simply fighting the champion by striking and using lateral movements, which presents risks in itself.
This fight is unlikely to go to the ground so barring a spectacular knockout finish, Nunes will be too much for Holm in all departments and should get the decision.
After a long wait, UFC 239 featuring Jones vs. Santos is about to get down this week. Jones is arguably the best combat sports fighter today, but Santos will try not to think about that as he looks to pull off a stunning upset in Nevada. Keep on visiting Nitro Sports Blog for updated previews of UFC events.