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Crime in Rio will stop when Santos battles Jones at UFC 239

The entire city of Rio de Janeiro will be watching when Thiago Santos challenges Jon Jones for his title, says manager Alex Davis.

As usual, oddsmakers aren’t giving Jon Jones’ upcoming opponent much of a chance to defeat him, but that hasn’t stopped Thiago Santos from fully believing in his ability to knock out the GOAT. “Marreta” is the latest upstart to declare “Bones” a mortal and therefore susceptible to his heavy hands at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019. Of course, Anthony Smith said the same thing and we saw how that worked out.

But did Smith have an entire city standing behind him? Not really. As he’s complained about in the past, few gave him much credit coming into his fight with Jones. Even a follow-up win against the always tough Alexander Gustafsson hasn’t earned him much respect. As for Santos, he has the undying passion and loyalty of his many fans in Rio de Janeiro. And it’s bigger than just the standard Brazilian loyalty according to his manager Alex Davis.

”He has a beautiful social project in the City of God,” Davis told MMA Junkie Radio. “His path wasn’t straight up, there were losses in the way, there were hard times, this is what a real fighter’s life is like, and he also gives that back to a bunch of poor kids. So, this is a really awesome guy in the ring and outside the ring. I think that when his fight happens, I think there’s not going to be any robberies, no gunfights, I think the whole place is going to stop.”

With 11 KO / TKO wins in his UFC career, Santos has quietly put together an impressive resume that only started to shine once he moved up to light heavyweight. Now he seems to be hitting his full potential, and the end result is a style of fighting that’s east for fans to enjoy.

“The thing about Thiago is, he fights the way everyone wants to see the fight go,” Davis said. “He risks his s**t. He goes out and there and puts it on the line and usually with him, he knocks them out or he gets knocked out. The risks that he takes and the way that he fights and the way he goes out there and lets it all hang out is what everyone wants to see. It’s what the sport wants to see.”

That’s what Jones’ opponents always say ... right up until Jones starts kicking them in the obliques and punching / elbowing them six times every time they try to close the distance. Is “Marreta” willing to push himself into the buzzsaw blade that is Jon Jones in his own quest to land a knockout blow? Bigger names have wilted, but all it takes is one good punch to change the landscape of MMA.

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