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UFC 239:

Jones vs Santos

Photo by Fight2Win

Written by Rome G. Lytton IV

7/4/2019

Over/under one minute before Askren shoots for the takedown. Can see Masvidal dominating with the hands or Askren smothering him on the canvas. Would be more interested to see this as a five-round main event.” 

Fans have come to expect a stacked card each year during International Fight Week and 2019 is no different. Here are a few storylines and predictions to consider leading into UFC 239: Jones vs Santos.

 

     -Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos 

 

     Jones is invincible again, seems to be regaining that aura. He hasn’t really been in trouble (in the cage) since his first fight with Gustafsson short of a few moments early on in the second DC fight. Hard to grade his last performance against Anthony Smith, who employed more of a defensive approach against him. 

     Santos is a savage on a seven-fight win streak, including six stoppages. He certainly has a puncher’s chance, but it’s difficult to envision Jones getting caught like that. Jones is excellent at controlling the distance, especially with those front push kicks to the kneecap. If Santos hurts him on the feet, I see Jones getting the takedown and controlling him on the ground. He may even go for it if he isn’t hurt.   

 

     Prediction: Jones def. Santos via 4th round RNC 

 

     -Women’s Bantamweight Championship: Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm 

 

     Speaking of invincibility, Nunes is terrifying. She enters the co-main on an eight-fight win streak. Destroyed Cyborg in 51 seconds in December, last loss against Cat Zingano in 2014, where she dominated the first two rounds (both fights with Valentina were close). Some people just hit harder than others, and there isn’t a woman alive she can’t finish.

 

     Holly has been up-and-down to say the least (2-4 since defeating Ronda). Super interested in her mental approach leading into this title opportunity, could very well be her last shot. 

 

     Definitely see this fight staying on the feet. I think Holly’s chances are greater if it goes into the later rounds. I see Nunes with an early onslaught Holly must weather. Then her fight starts.

 

     Prediction: Nunes def. Holm via 1st round TKO

 

     -Welterweight Bout: Ben Askren vs Jorge Masvidal

     The people’s main event. Askren’s debut marred in controversy over the stoppage against Lawler. Masvidal carrying huge momentum after his KO of Darren Till in England (and the three piece with soda ordered by Leon Edwards). 

     Over/under one minute before Askren shoots for the takedown. Can see Masvidal dominating with the hands or Askren smothering him on the canvas. Would be more interested to see this as a five-round main event. 

     Wonder if whoever wins this needs a finish to ensure #1 contender status with Covington vs Lawler looming next month. 

 

     Prediction: Masvidal def. Askren via 2nd round TKO

 

     -Misc. Notes

 

  •      Gilbert Melendez back in the Octagon for first time since September 2017 against Arnold Allen

 

  •      Diego Sanchez looks to make it three-straight wins, welcomes Michael Chiesa to 170

 

  •      Luke Rockhold back from extended absence, debut at Light Heavyweight

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