The primary and co-main events for this summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card are revealed. UFC 239 occurs July 6 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and ESPN has reported the next bouts.
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos, UFC 239
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will return to the Octagon at UFC 239 if he puts his title on the line against knockout artist Thiago Santos.
Jones (24-1, 1 NC) is 18-1, 1 NC in the UFC and in the heads of many observers of the game is the best talent to step in the Octagon. Obviously, problems outside of the game with the law and with USADA have hindered his career, but he’s finally back to a consistent fight schedule and that is a good thing for everybody. Since his No Contest against Daniel Cormier in the summer of 2017, Jones has looked better than ever. He won back the vacant title with a brutal knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 after which defended the belt with a decision over Anthony Smith in UFC 232 only a few weeks ago. Jones has promised the fans that he’ll fight more often now that his private issues are taken care of, and this bout with Santos will be his third battle in less than eight months.
Santos (21-6) is 13-5 overall in the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win streak, including three straight wins since moving up to light heavyweight. Since moving around 205lbs, Santos has knocked out Jimi Manuwa, Eryk Anders and Jan Blachowicz in devastating fashion. He is actually second all-time currently behind Vitor Belfort on the list of the UFC’s all-time best grossing musicians. Although he was inconsistent as a middleweight, it appears the move up in weight has helped him to gain a few strength that could make him a genuine threat in this struggle against Jones.
While Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you simply can not go against the champion. Jones, for all his troubles, is your greatest MMA fighter of all time, and he will be a heavy favorite here to guard his belt.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has already released the opening betting line with this bout. Jones started as a -900 favored, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click the link to see Kalikas’ rationale for the introductory line.
UFC 239 vs. Holly Holm, amanda Nunes UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes will stick around 135lbs and defend her belt in UFC 239 against leading competition Holly Holm.
Nunes (17-4) is 10-1 overall from the UFC and is now riding an eight-fight win series. After going through every challenger thrown her way at bantamweight, such as Valentina Shevchenko twice, Ronda Rousey and Raquel Pennington, she moved up to featherweight in her final outing and became the first girl to knock Cris Cyborg, getting the featherweight champion in the procedure. In this fight against Holm, she will move back down to bantamweight and shield her belt there.
Holm (12-4) is just 5-4 in the UFC, but she has fought elite competition in nearly all of her writings within the Octagon and her record is skewed consequently. Since her shocking upset head kick KO win over Ronda Rousey in late 2015, Holm is only 2-4 in the UFC, but she has won two of her last few bouts such as a decision win over Megan Anderson in her last outing. Despite her inconsistencies that the past couple of decades, she’s still one of the most respected female MMA fighters .
Although Holm is a powerful challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first women’s double champion deserves to be a sizable favorite heading into this bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas also opened the opening betting line for this bout too. Nunes opened as a -345 favorite, with Holm that a +275 underdog. Click on the hyperlink to see Kalikas’ logical for the introductory line.
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