The Octagon returns to T-Mobile Center at Las Vegas for Saturday night’s 11-fight UFC 239 card.
The series features a set 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 shoot on Thiago Santos at the main event. Jones was a -600 favored 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 offshore shops had Jones in a less expensive price from the -650 area. 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 raised 25 times in 26 career fights. His only”loss” was a disqualification for illegal 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 changed into a 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 will be his third fight in a span of six months and one week, marking his most activity since 2011-12. He has indicated he wishes to fight three or more times in 2019.
Jones is away from a unanimous-decision triumph over Anthony Smith in UFC 235 at March. He dominated Alexander Gustafsson using a third-round KO victory at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 of 2018. Before those two successes, many suspensions and arrests allowed him to compete just four times in a span of more than five decades.
Jones has cleaned out the light-heavyweight division during his dominant 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 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 interval.
Santos (21-6 MMA, 13-5 UFC) is 8-1 in his past nine struggles since February of 2017. He’s ripped six fight-night bonuses during this stretch. The 35-year-old Santos competed at middleweight his whole career until moving around 205 lbs to face Eryk Anders in the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner in Sao Paulo last September.
Anders took the fight on six days of note if Jimi Manuwa pulled out his bout with Santos because of an injury. The former University of Alabama football player had to fly to Brazil and also make weight in rapid purchase. Plus, he was going up a weight class for the first time in his profession.
The scrap was a slugfest that earned Battle of the Night honors. Regrettably, Anders collapsed due to exhaustion when trying to return to his corner when the third round ended. The referee immediately called the struggle to give Santos a TKO victory.
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