The Octagon returns to T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas for Saturday night’s 11-fight UFC 239 card.
The show comes with a pair of title conflicts, with MMA’s best-ever fighters on the men’s and women’s side defending their individual belts.
Jon’Bones’ Jones is set to take on Thiago Santos in the main event. Jones was a -600 favorite at most books as of Tuesday, however, 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 in a cheaper price in the -650 neighborhood. The total has been 2.5 rounds (‘under’ -135,”over’ +105) at most areas.
Jones (24-1-1 MMA, 18-1-1 UFC) has had his hands raised 25 times in 26 career conflicts. His only”loss” was a disqualification for prohibited 12-to-6 elbows at 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 to some no-decision when Jones tested positive for the PED turinabol.
Jones seems — for now at least — to be on the ideal path outside the cage recently. This is his third battle in a period of six months and a week, marking his most activity since 2011-12. He has indicated he wishes to fight at least three times in 2019.
Jones is away from a unanimous-decision win over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 at March. He dominated Alexander Gustafsson with a third-round KO victory 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 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 occasions. All five of these wins came over former champions — Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort. Only Evans went the distance with Jones during that interval.
Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is 8-1 in his past nine struggles since February of 2017. He’s bagged six fight-night bonuses during this stretch. The 35-year-old Santos competed at middleweight his whole career until moving around 205 pounds to confront Eryk Anders from the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner in Sao Paulo past September.
Anders took the battle on six days of notice when Jimi Manuwa pulled out 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 quick purchase. Plus, he was heading up a weight class for the first time in his career.
The scrap was a slugfest that earned Fight of the Night honors. Unfortunately, Anders collapsed because of 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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