The Octagon returns to T-Mobile Center at Las Vegas for Saturday night’s 11-fight UFC 239 card.
The series comes with a set of name conflicts, together with MMA’s best-ever fighters around the men’s and women’s side defending their respective belts.
Jon’Bones’ Jones is set to take on Thiago Santos at the main event. Jones was a -600 favored at most books as of Tuesday, however, the Westgate SuperBook had Jones at -850 late Friday afternoon. Santos was a +575 underdog in the Westgate. Quite a few overseas stores had Jones in a cheaper price in the -650 neighborhood. The total was 2.5 rounds (‘under’ -135,’over’ +105) at most spots.
Jones (24-1-1 MMA, 18-1-1 UFC) has had his hands increased 25 times in 26 career fights. His only”reduction” was a disqualification for prohibited 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 some no-decision when Jones tested positive for the PED turinabol.
Jones seems — for now — to be on the ideal track outside of the cage recently. This is his third fight in a period of six months and a week, marking his most action since 2011-12. He has indicated he wishes to fight at least three times in 2019.
Jones is away from 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 years.
Jones has cleaned the light-heavyweight branch during his 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 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 that interval.
Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is 8-1 in his past nine fights since February of 2017. He’s ripped six fight-night bonuses during this stretch. The 35-year-old Santos competed at middleweight his entire career until moving up to 205 lbs to confront Eryk Anders in the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner at Sao Paulo last September.
Anders took the battle on six days of note if Jimi Manuwa pulled his departure with Santos due to an injury. The former University of Alabama football player needed to fly to Brazil and make weight in quick order. Plus, he was 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. Unfortunately, Anders collapsed due to exhaustion when attempting to walk back to his corner once the third round finished. The referee immediately called the fight to give Santos a TKO victory.