Thiago Santos, A Quick Look at the Best of UFC 239

Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) fights against Thiago Santos (blue gloves) at T-Mobile Arena. Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A Quick Look at the Best of UFC 239

MMA memes abound! So many comical images portraying what must have been Dana White’s emotional state after UFC 239 actually living up to the hype.

In the sports betting world, John Jones was a massive favorite to win inside the distance, so anyone backing the fight to go the distance cashed in big.

But what else happened at UFC 239? Let’s recap some of the biggest moments from Saturday night’s fight card.

Jones by the Skin of His Teeth

We mentioned Jon Jones above, who was the -365 to win inside of the distance. But Thiago Santos obviously came well prepared. Junichiro Kamijo – judge No. 3– actually had Santos as the fight winner. And all judges scored the fight 48-47, so even the judges who went with Jones, thought the fight was quite close, indeed.

Jon Jones seemed to respect Thiago more than we’ve seen him respect opponents in the past. He held back – almost to his demise– in a manner that seemed frugal compared to his normal striking volume. So, we have to wonder, is this the new Jon Jones? Will his next fights be this strategic and judicious or will he come back hard in his next fight and try to give his fans a decisive victory? Furthermore, will Thiago Santos get another shot?

Nunes Wins Again

With Amanda Nunes’ win over Holly Holm, people are already beginning to spout, ‘GOAT’ with regards to the Brazilian. The Champ is an amazing fighter but for me, it’s still a bit too early to say she’s the greatest of all time. And a win against Holm, who although is a living legend, has been in decline since 2016, is not an opponent that solidifies the GOAT title. Holm is going on 38 and has now lost five of her last seven fights.

That said, her beautiful right-footed roundhouse caught Holly right on the button, and the ref did a fantastic job getting in there quickly to keep Holm from taking unnecessary damage. Is Amanda Nunez the best ever? I don’t know … If she gets one more smash-mouth victory against a top contender, she just might be.

Ismail Naurdiev Takes the Upset Loss

The amazing thing about this fight is that Recountre was a +375 underdog. But his wrestling skills didn’t care about what the Vegas oddsmakers were saying. He eventually turned Naurdiev’s striking against him and maintained domination with top control and ground and pound.

Fastest Knockout Ever

There was a good long feud going on between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal … but once inside the octagon, it ended in just five seconds. We expected this to be a battle of the ages, but Masvidal knew that Askren was going to lead with a two-leg takedown. As Ben charged in headfirst, Masvidal flew across the mat what was some sort of ugly flying knee … but the important part is it connected and it connected hard. Askren was instantly out cold, and Jorge even gave a couple of bonus shots to the cleary incapacitated Ben Askren.

Some people called the shots uncalled for and definitely say the trash talking and celebration whilst Askren was still laid out on the mat tactless and lacking class. But should we expect anything less? It wasn’t a staged beef to hype up fight sales, Masvidal legitimately loathes Askren. In the postfight press conference, Jorge stated, “It’s not over for Ben,” Masvidal said.” If I see that dude at Whole Foods, I’m going to slap that dude up because I don’t like him.”

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