The main and co-main events for the summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card have been shown. UFC 239 occurs July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and ESPN has reported that the following bouts.
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos, UFC 239
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will return to the Octagon at UFC 239 when 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 minds of many observers of this sport is the best talent to step in the Octagon. Of course, problems outside the sport with the law and also USADA have hindered his career, but he’s finally back to a consistent fight schedule and that is a fantastic thing for everyone. Since his No Contest against Daniel Cormier in the summer of 2017, Jones has looked better than ever. He won back the empty title with a brutal knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 and then defended the belt with a decision over Anthony Smith at UFC 232 only a few weeks ago. Jones has promised the fans that he will fight more often now that his private issues are taken care of, and this bout with Santos will be his third fight in less than eight months.
Santos (21-6) is 13-5 overall in the UFC and is now riding a four-fight win series, including three consecutive 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’s actually second all-time now behind Vitor Belfort on among the UFC’s all-time greatest knockout artists. Although he was inconsistent as a middleweight, it seems the move up in weight has helped him to attain a few durability which can make him a genuine threat in this fight against Jones.
While Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you just 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 defend his belt.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has released the launching betting line with this bout. Jones opened as a -900 favorite, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click the hyperlink to see Kalikas’ justification for the opening lineup.
Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm, UFC 239 UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes will stick around 135lbs and shield her belt in UFC 239 against top contender Holly Holm.
Nunes (17-4) is 10-1 overall from the UFC and is now riding an eight-fight win series. After going through each challenger thrown her way at bantamweight, including Valentina Shevchenko twice, Ronda Rousey and Raquel Pennington, she moved up to featherweight in her last outing and became the first girl to knock Cris Cyborg, getting the featherweight champion in the procedure. Within this fight against Holm, she will move 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 angry head kick KO win over Ronda Rousey in late 2015, Holm is just 2-4 in the UFC, but she has won two of her past few bouts such as a decision win over Megan Anderson in her final outing. Despite her inconsistencies the last few years, she is still one of the most respected female MMA fighters ever.
Though Holm is a powerful challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first-ever women’s double champion deserves to be a large favorite heading into this particular bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas also opened the opening betting line with this bout as well. Nunes started as a -345 favorite, with Holm a +275 underdog. Click the hyperlink to see Kalikas’ logical for the opening line.
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