The primary and co-main events for this summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card have been shown. UFC 239 takes place July 6 in 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 if he puts his name 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 this game is the best talent to step in the Octagon. Obviously, problems outside of the game with all the law and with USADA have hindered his career, but he is finally back to a constant fight schedule and that is a good thing for everybody. Since his No Contest against Daniel Cormier at the summer of 2017, Jones has looked better than everbefore. He won back the vacant title with a brutal knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 232 and then defended the belt using a decision over Anthony Smith at UFC 232 only a couple weeks ago. Jones has assured the fans that he’ll fight more frequently now that his personal issues have been taken care of, and also 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 going up to 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 best grossing musicians. Though he was inconsistent as a middleweight, it seems the move up in weight has helped him attain some strength that can make him a genuine threat in this fight against Jones.
Even though Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you just can’t go against the champion. Jones, for his or her troubles, is your greatest MMA fighter of all time, and he’ll be a heavy favourite here to defend his belt.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has released the opening betting line with this bout. Jones opened as a -900 favorite, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click on the hyperlink to read Kalikas’ rationale for the introductory lineup.
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 contender Holly Holm.
Nunes (17-4) is 10-1 overall in the UFC and is currently riding an eight-fight win streak. 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 woman to knock out Cris Cyborg, becoming the featherweight champion in the procedure. Within this struggle 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’s fought elite competition in most of her writings within the Octagon and her album is skewed as a result. 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 past three bouts including a decision win over Megan Anderson in her last outing. Despite her inconsistencies that the past couple of years, she’s still one of the most admired female MMA fighters .
Though Holm is a formidable challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first women’s double champion deserves to be a large favorite heading into the bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas additionally opened the opening betting line for this bout too. Nunes started as a -345 favored, with Holm a +275 underdog. Click the link to see Kalikas’ logical for your opening line.
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