The primary and co-main events for this summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card have been shown. UFC 239 occurs July 6 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and ESPN has reported 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 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 minds of many observers of the game is the best talent to ever step in the Octagon. Obviously, problems outside the sport with all the law and also USADA have hindered his career, but he is finally back to a constant fight schedule and that’s 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 empty title with a brutal knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 232 and then defended the belt with a decision over Anthony Smith at UFC 232 just 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 less than eight weeks.
Santos (21-6) is 13-5 overall from the UFC and is currently riding a four-fight win series, 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 catastrophic fashion. He is actually second all-time currently behind Vitor Belfort on the list of the UFC’s all-time best knockout artists. Although he had been inconsistent as a middleweight, it appears the move up in weight has helped him gain some durability which could make him a genuine threat in this struggle against Jones.
While Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you just can’t go against the champion. Jones, for his or her problems, is the best MMA fighter of all time, and he’ll be a heavy favorite here in order 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 on the link to see Kalikas’ justification 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 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 out Cris Cyborg, getting the featherweight champion in the procedure. In 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 has fought elite rivalry in nearly all 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 just 2-4 in the UFC, but she has won two of her past three bouts including a decision win over Megan Anderson in her final outing. Despite her inconsistencies the past couple of decades, she is still among the most respected female MMA fighters ever.
Although Holm is a formidable challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first women’s double champion deserves to be a sizable favorite heading into this particular bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas additionally opened the opening betting line with this particular bout too. Nunes started as a -345 favorite, with Holm a +275 underdog. Click on the link to read Kalikas’ rational for the introductory lineup.
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