Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently finalized the Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos light heavyweight main event for its upcoming UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza, scheduled for Sat., July 6, 2019 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jones is making his second title defense following last December’s return to mixed martial arts (MMA) in what he expects to be a busy 2019. The last time “Bones” competed at least three times in one year was 2011.
But just because Jones has been so dominant over the years, reflected in his 24-1 (1 NC) record, his coaches aren’t taking Santos lightly, regardless of what the oddsmakers say. Especially when those Brazilian bombs are landing with “full velocity.”
“I think it’s his explosiveness, along with the fact that he’s young and he’s going in there with really nothing to lose,” coach Mike Winkeljohn told Submission Radio. “And that’s the scariest part about it. That means those shots, those counters, those punches are coming at total full velocity because he’s got nothing to lose. He’s just going to throw the kitchen sink at Jon, and that’s scary sometimes when people just let go. It’s not so calculated where you go, okay, I know how he does this. Sometimes they come up with something new as a part of their camp and they can catch anybody.”
Santos (21-6) is four years older than Jones, so that leaves me a little worried about Wink’s scouting report, but he’s not kidding when he suggests “Marreta” will be dropping bombs. The Brazilian has a frightening 15 knockouts in 21 wins and captured eight of his last nine.
Jones is certainly no stranger to hulking power punchers, having already nullified the likes of Quinton Jackson and Glover Teixeira, just to name a few, and will also enjoy a staggering eight-inch reach advantage on fight night.
Let’s hope Santos does, in fact, throw the kitchen sink. He's going to need all the help he can get.