Jon “Bones” Jones is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, entering this Light Heavyweight bout with a professional record of 24-1. The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion will put his title on the line against Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC 239 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Jones is a -750 favorite on the UFC odds to defend his title at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Failed drug tests and legal issues cut into Jon Jones’ prime as the fighter had only four bouts between April 26, 2014 and July 29, 2017 before returning from his most recent drug suspension at UFC 232 last December. But since returning, Jones has picked up right where he left off; he won the interim UFC Light Heavyweight Title with a knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson and then successfully defended that title at UFC 235 in March with a win over Anthony Smith.
The title defense against Smith marked the ninth time he has successfully defended this belt. He has never actually lost it in the octagon, having it stripped twice before eventually reclaiming it both times upon his return. In fact, Jones has never actually been outright defeated as a professional as the only loss of his career came via disqualification due to illegal downward elbows. Still just 31 years old, Jones has plenty of time to cement his legacy as the best MMA fighter in history.
Thiago Santos (+475) has earned this title bout with an impressive run of late. Santos picked up a TKO win over Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 145, improving to 8-1 over his last nine fights and 4-0 over his last four in the process. All but one of those eight wins came by way of knockout, as have 15 of Santos’ 21 career wins across a 21-6 professional career. The 35-year-old has enough explosion and power to keep Jones on alert.
The problem for Santos is that Jones is always on alert. The champion is patient and precise and isn’t likely to get caught making any mistakes. An upset isn’t out of the question, but Jones would need to have an off night for that scenario to play out; and we just haven’t seen him have one.
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