“Lionheart” says Thiago Santos ‘definitely has a chance’ to beat Jon Jones
In the main event of UFC 239 — or International Fight Week — Jon Jones will look to defend his light heavyweight title. There, he will take on Thiago Santos who has been knocking out everyone at light heavyweight. He is explosive and throws crazy kicks and punches that catch his opponents by surprise.
However, Jones has never lost a fight — although he has been disqualified — so beating him will be tough. But, according to the champ’s last opponent in Anthony Smith, he believes Santos has a chance to shock the world and beat Jones.
“I do, I do. He’s fast, he’s explosive. I think you put Thiago Santos in there with an elephant he’s got a shot to put it down,” he said on Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “The dude is just crazy explosive and he’s fast, there’s no windup. I just think that Jon is really good in the grappling and the wrestling exchanges and I think that clearly that’s one of Thiago’s holes. I just don’t think that there’s enough time for him to close that gap and Jon is too smart to not take advantage of that. So I think that it’s a tall task for Thiago, but he definitely has a chance that’s for sure.”
Ultimately, the odds are stacked against Santos, and many are picking against him given he is as big as a +501 underdog and Jones being as big as a -800 favorite. There is no question many expect Jones to win this fight as he hasn’t shown a sign of weakness in any of fights. And, as Smtih points out, Santos’ weakness is his grappling where Jones excels.
So, for Santos to win, he will need to knock out Jones and shock the world. He has a chance, but how big of a chance is the question? For that, the world will find out at UFC 239.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime