The Octagon Yields to T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas for Saturday night’s 11-fight UFC 239 card.
The show features a pair of title conflicts, with MMA’s best-ever fighters around the men’s and women’s side defending their individual belts.
Jon’Bones’ Jones is set to shoot on Thiago Santos in the main event. Jones was a -600 favorite at most books as of Tuesday, but the Westgate SuperBook had Jones at -850 late Friday afternoon. Santos was a +575 underdog at the Westgate. A number of overseas stores had Jones at a cheaper price from the -650 neighborhood. The total was 2.5 rounds (‘beneath’ -135,”over’ +105) at most areas.
Jones (24-1-1 MMA, 18-1-1 UFC) has had his hand increased 25 occasions in 26 career fights. His only”loss” was a disqualification for illegal 12-to-6 elbows in a blowout win over Matt Hamill on Dec. 5 of 2009. His third-round knockout win over Daniel Cormier in UFC 214 was overturned and transformed into a no-decision when Jones tested positive for the PED turinabol.
Jones seems — for now at least — to be on the ideal track outside the cage lately. This will be his third battle in a period of six months and a week, marking his most activity since 2011-12. He’s indicated he wishes to fight three or more occasions in 2019.
Jones is away from a unanimous-decision win over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in March. He dominated Alexander Gustafsson with a third-round KO success at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 of 2018. Before those two victories, various suspensions and arrests enabled him to compete just four times in a span of more than five years.
Jones has cleaned out the light-heavyweight branch during his dominant career. At a five-fight stretch from March 19 of 2011 to Sept. 22 of 2012, he won the belt and successfully defended it four occasions. All five of those wins came over former champions — Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort. Only Evans travelled the distance with Jones during that span.
Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is 8-1 in his past nine fights since February of 2017. He has bagged six fight-night bonuses in this stretch. The 35-year-old Santos competed at middleweight his whole career until moving around 205 lbs to confront Eryk Anders in the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner in Sao Paulo past September.
Anders took the fight on six days of note if Jimi Manuwa pulled his bout with Santos due to an injury. The former University of Alabama football player had to fly to Brazil and also make weight in quick purchase. Plus, he had been heading up a weight class for the very first time in his career.
The garbage was a slugfest that earned Battle of the Night honors. Regrettably, Anders collapsed due to exhaustion while trying to walk back to his corner once the third round finished. The referee immediately called the fight to give Santos a TKO victory.
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