UFC 239: Jon Jones Slips by Thiago Santos
Jon Jones extended his reign tonight as light-heavyweight champ, but one judge had Thiago Santos beating the star.
Thiago Santos may have been a sizeable underdog heading into UFC 239, but the dangerous fighter provided Jon Jones arguably his biggest test to date.
Jones opened up with kicks right out of the gate, and Santos returned with a thumping leg kick of his own. Jones pressured in the opening minutes but Santos planted a couple more kicks to the leg. Santos threatened with some winging punches late in the round, but Jones continued to move forward. Right before the round ended, Jones just missed with a spinning kick to the head.
Moments into round two, it looked like Santos may have injured himself firing a kick. Jones was still moving forward but wasn’t offering much in volume. Moments later, Jones planted a body kick and Santos appeared to be favoring his left leg. Santos winged a head kick that Jones blocked just in time. Jones did a good job of moving away from the punches of Santos, but wasn’t throwing much in return.
In between rounds, the replay appeared to show the left knee of Santos buckling as he threw a kick. Santos threatened with a head kick moments into round three, and then he pumped in a body kick. Moments later, Santos stumbled to the deck after taking an elbow in an exchange, and Jones missed with a follow-up, flying knee. Santos buckled again after throwing a kick, and Jones proceeded to open a cut on the challenger. Jones picked up the pace with kicks, but Santos landed with a couple more calf kicks of his own.
Santos came out firing big punches to begin round four, and Jones missed with a spinning kick moments later. Santos buckled yet again, from his apparent knee issue, but started attacking seconds later. Jones continued to pick away with kicks, and as the round continued, he offered more offense.
Santos dug to the body of Jones with a kick to begin round five, and landed a right moments later. Santos winged more heavy punches, and Jones scored with a couple of sidekicks to the body. Once again, the left knee of Santos buckled, but the Brazilian continued to throw strikes. Santos flurried in as the final minute approached, but nothing appeared to land.
Here are the results so far for UFC 239, which took place in Las Vegas.
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Jon Jones def. Thiago Santos via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Amanda Nunes def. Holly Holm via TKO (kicked & punches) R1, 4:10
Jorge Masvidal def. Ben Askren via KO (flying knee) R1, 0:05
Jan Blachowicz def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punches) R2, 1:39
Michael Chiesa def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Arnold Allen def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Marlon Vera def. Nohelin Hernandez via submission (rear-naked-choke) R2, 3:25
Claudia Gadelha def. Randa Markos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Song Yadong def. Alejandro Perez via KO (punch) R1, 2:04
Edmen Shahbazyan def. Jack Marshman via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 1:12
Chance Rencountre def. Ismail Naurdiev via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Julia Avila def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)