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03 Jul 2019 by Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos at UFC 239

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THE FACTS

When is UFC 239? Sunday 7th July, 2019 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 239? T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

What channel is UFC 239? BT Sport Box Office (£19.95)

Where can I stream UFC 239? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ which can you sign up to here!

Are tickets still available for UFC 239? https://www.ufc.com/tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

The imperious and polarising champion Jon Jones is sticking to his word of being more active as he makes his third appearance in seven months and confidently welcomes the next challenger Thiago Santos to the cage.

After Jones’ most recent ban he has got two fights under his belt and looked as dominant as ever. He violently finished Alexander Gustafsson in the third round, putting their rivalry to bed in the process, and then put a beating on Anthony Smith for five rounds back in March. He is now well on the way to cleaning out the division for a second time but has a dangerous assignment next up.

Santos has only lost once in his last nine fights and has looked even more dangerous since moving up to light heavyweight, finishing Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. These were all thrilling fights where he menacingly exchanged heavy blows and although he is now up against the best light heavyweight of all time, his aggression will be crucial to dethroning the champion.

THE PREDICTION

Jones has never been outclassed, out-struck or out-grappled so Santos is going to have to fight in his natural way and be as aggressive as possible: forcing the action, stepping in and out of range and throwing heavy combinations.

Jones is a master of distance control with his monstrous 84.5-inch reach. He has the ability to keep Santos out of danger and pick him off with a variety of kicks and jabs but he is also dangerous in the clinch with tie ups and vicious elbows.

Santos is going to have to stay away from the cage and blitz Jones from angles mixing punches and kicks hoping to catch him to stand any chance. It is possible, but Jones is too good in every department and is likely to win the stand-up battle, take Santos down at will and even show off his submission prowess to finish the fight.

Winner: Jones via Submission

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric

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