UFC 239 Preview: Jon Jones on a Mission to Top UFC Rankings
The light-heavyweight championship will be on the line on July 6 as Jon Jones and Thiago Santos go head-to-head at UFC 239.
Jones has had some well-documented, USADA-related issues during his career, but he will undoubtedly be eager to make a big statement in Las Vegas.
The women’s bantamweight championship match-up between Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm is the co-main event and one which could go down as an all-time classic. Read on as we preview UFC 239.
Jones a man on a mission
Jones is an overwhelming 2/13 favourite on the best UFC betting lines at 888 sportsbook to beat Santos and it is easy to see why.
The reigning champion is currently ranked number two in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings and his ego is such that he could be desperate to grab top spot in the list.
Jones has lost just once during his career – a disqualification as a result of throwing a downward elbow on Matt Hamill back in 2009.
He punches well with both hands, throws strong kicks, is solid on the mat and should prove to be too much for Santos.
The Brazilian has won his last four UFC contests, but his wild style should make him an easy target for Jones, who is fancied to win inside the first two rounds.
Nunes must not underestimate Holm
Nunes will be making the fourth defence of the women’s bantamweight title which she won from Miesha Tate at UFC 200.
She is also the current women’s featherweight champion following her stunning knockout of Cris Cyborg at UFC 232.
However, the 31-year-old has four MMA defeats on her record and would be well advised not to underestimate the threat posed by Holm.
The former bantamweight champion famously ended Ronda Rousey’s dominant reign in the women’s division by knocking her out at UFC 193 and she has the ability to cause Nunes problems.
Nunes was impressive against Cyborg, but if Holm catches her cleanly she could be an exceptional value at odds of 5/2 to win the bout.
Askren aiming to make title statement
The highlight of an impressive support card at UFC 239 is undoubtedly the welterweight contest between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal.
Askren came out of retirement in stunning fashion back in March, defeating former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler on his UFC debut to maintain his unbeaten MMA record.
The 34-year-old has made it clear he wants to take on current champion Kamaru Usman, although former interim champ Colby Covington is believed to have been promised the next shot.
However, an impressive performance by Askren at UFC 239 could force company bosses into a rethink, and he looks banker material at odds of 4/9 to defeat Masvidal.
UFC 239 Main Card
Light Heavyweight (Main event) – Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos
Women Bantamweight (Co-main event) – Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm
Welterweight – Jorge Masvidal vs Ben Askren
Light Heavyweight – Jan Błachowicz vs LukeRockhold
Welterweight – Diego Sanchez vs Michael Chiesa
Bantamweight – Sean O’Malley vs Marlon Vera