The main and co-main events with this summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card have been shown. UFC 239 takes place July 6 at 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 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 heads of many observers of the game is the best talent to ever step in the Octagon. Of course, problems outside the game with the law and with USADA have hindered his career, but he is finally back on a consistent fight schedule and that is a good thing for everybody. Since his No Competition against Daniel Cormier at 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 just a few weeks ago. Jones has assured the fans that he will fight more frequently now that his private issues are cared for, and also this bout with Santos will be his third fight 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 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 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 strength which could make him a true 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 all his troubles, is your greatest MMA fighter of all time, and he’ll be a heavy favourite here in order to guard his belt.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has already released the opening betting line for this particular bout. Jones opened as a -900 favored, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click the link 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 shield her belt at UFC 239 against leading competition Holly Holm.
Nunes (17-4) is 10-1 overall in the UFC and is now riding an eight-fight win streak. After going through each challenger thrown her manner at bantamweight, such as Valentina Shevchenko twice, Ronda Rousey and Raquel Pennington, she proceeded up to featherweight in her last outing and became the first girl to knock Cris Cyborg, getting the featherweight champion in the process. 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 bouts inside 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 just two of her past few bouts including a decision win over Megan Anderson in her final outing. Despite her inconsistencies that the past couple of years, she’s still one of the most admired female MMA fighters .
Although Holm is a powerful challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first 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 for this particular bout as well. Nunes started as a -345 favorite, with Holm that a +275 underdog. Click on the link to see Kalikas’ logical for your introductory line.
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