The main and co-main events for the summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card are revealed. UFC 239 takes place 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 from the UFC and in the minds of many observers of the game is the best talent to step into the Octagon. Of course, problems outside of the sport with all the law and with USADA have hindered his career, but he is finally back on a constant fight schedule and that’s a fantastic thing for everybody. Since his No Contest against Daniel Cormier in the summer of 2017, Jones has appeared 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 using a decision over Anthony Smith at UFC 232 only a few weeks ago. Jones has assured the fans that he will fight more frequently now that his personal issues have been cared for, and this bout with Santos will be his third battle in 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 going up to 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 among the UFC’s all-time best grossing musicians. Although he had been inconsistent as a middleweight, it appears the move up in weight has helped him to gain a few strength which could make him a genuine threat in this struggle against Jones.
Even though Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you just can not go against the champion. Jones, for all his problems, is the best 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 launching betting line for this bout. Jones opened as a -900 favorite, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click the link to read Kalikas’ justification for the opening 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 top contender Holly Holm.
Nunes (17-4) is 10-1 overall from the UFC and is now riding an eight-fight win streak. After going through each challenger thrown her manner at bantamweight, including Valentina Shevchenko twice, Ronda Rousey and Raquel Pennington, she proceeded up to featherweight in her final outing and became the first woman to knock Cris Cyborg, getting the featherweight champion in the process. In this struggle against Holm, she will move down to bantamweight and shield her belt there.
Holm (12-4) is only 5-4 in the UFC, but she has fought elite rivalry in most of her writings within the Octagon and her album is skewed consequently. 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 just two of her past few bouts such as a decision win over Megan Anderson in her last outing. Despite her inconsistencies the last few decades, she is still among the most admired female MMA fighters ever.
Though Holm is a formidable challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first women’s double winner deserves to be a large favorite heading into the particular bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas also opened the launching betting line for this bout too. Nunes opened as a -345 favored, with Holm a +275 underdog. Click the link to read Kalikas’ rational for the introductory line.
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