The primary and co-main events with the summer’s blockbuster UFC International Fight Week card are shown. UFC 239 occurs 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 when 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 sport is the best talent to step into the Octagon. Of course, problems outside of the game 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 good thing for everyone. Since his No Competition against Daniel Cormier at 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 using a decision over Anthony Smith in UFC 232 only a couple weeks ago. Jones has assured the fans that he will fight more frequently now that his personal issues have been cared for, and also this bout with Santos will be his third fight in less than less than eight months.
Santos (21-6) is 13-5 overall in 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’s actually second all-time currently behind Vitor Belfort on the list of the UFC’s all-time best grossing musicians. Though he had been inconsistent as a middleweight, it seems the move up in weight has helped him to attain some durability that could make him a true threat in this fight against Jones.
While Santos has a puncher’s chance against Jones, you simply can’t go against the winner. Jones, for all his troubles, is the best MMA fighter of all time, and he will be a heavy favorite here in order to guard his belt.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has already released the launching betting line for this bout. Jones opened as a -900 favored, with Santos as a +600 underdog. Click on the link to see Kalikas’ rationale 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 shield her belt at UFC 239 against top 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, such as 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 process. In this struggle against Holm, she will move back down to bantamweight and shield her belt .
Holm (12-4) is just 5-4 in the UFC, but she has fought elite rivalry in most of her bouts inside the Octagon and her record is skewed consequently. Since her shocking angry 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 final outing. Despite her inconsistencies the last few decades, she is still among the most admired female MMA fighters ever.
Although Holm is a powerful challenge for Nunes, the UFC’s first women’s double winner deserves to be a sizable favorite heading into this bout.
MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas additionally opened the opening betting line for this bout as well. Nunes started as a -345 favored, with Holm that a +275 underdog. Click on the hyperlink to see Kalikas’ rational for your introductory line.
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