The Octagon returns to T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas for Saturday night’s 11-fight UFC 239 card.
The series comes with a set of title fights, together 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 at the main event. Jones was a -600 favorite at most books as of Tuesday, but the Westgate SuperBook had Jones in -850 late Friday afternoon. Santos was a +575 underdog in the Westgate. A number of overseas stores had Jones at a less expensive price in the -650 neighborhood. The total was 2.5 rounds (‘beneath’ -135,’over’ +105) at most spots.
Jones (24-1-1 MMA, 18-1-1 UFC) has had his hand increased 25 times in 26 career fights. His only”reduction” 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 changed to some no-decision when Jones tested positive for the PED turinabol.
Jones seems — for now — to be on the ideal path outside of the cage lately. This will be his third battle in a period of six months and one week, marking his most action since 2011-12. He has indicated he wishes to fight at least three occasions in 2019.
Jones is off a unanimous-decision triumph over Anthony Smith in UFC 235 in March. He dominated Alexander Gustafsson with a third-round KO victory at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 of 2018. Before those two successes, many suspensions and arrests enabled him to compete just four times in a period of over five decades.
Jones has cleaned out the light-heavyweight division during his career. In a five-fight extend from March 19 of 2011 to Sept. 22 of 2012, he won the belt and successfully defended it four times. All five of these wins came over former winners — Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort. Only Evans went the distance with Jones during this span.
Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is 8-1 in his previous nine fights since February of 2017. He has ripped six fight-night bonuses during this stretch. The 35-year-old Santos competed at middleweight his entire career until moving up to 205 pounds to face Eryk Anders in the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner in Sao Paulo past September.
Anders took the fight on six days of notice if Jimi Manuwa pulled his departure with Santos due to an injury. The former University of Alabama football player had to fly to Brazil and also make weight in rapid order. Plus, he had been heading up a weight class for the very first time in his career.
The scrap was a slugfest that earned Fight of the Night honors. Unfortunately, Anders collapsed because of exhaustion when attempting to walk back to his corner once the third round ended. The referee immediately known as the fight to give Santos a TKO victory.
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