Jon Jones Shaded a Split Decision Win Against a Man on One Leg… Thiago Santos Came So Close to Snatching the Light-Heavyweight Title From ‘Bones’…
Oh, Thiago Santos. He’s going to look back on this one with a feeling of missed opportunity. Jon Jones has been promoted this week by the UFC as an unbeaten and indestructible force of nature, but Santos was in control of this fight before his knee buckled underneath him.
Jones is regarded by many as the greatest light-heavyweight fighter of all time. He’s never lost a title fight and hasn’t really looked like coming close to losing. Nobody gave ‘Marcetta’ a realistic chance of beating Jones in the main event of UFC 239, but boy, on a wild night in Las Vegas he came very near to it.
Check the highlights below of a fascinating fight between two men who went to war. Santos’s stock definitely went up even though he lost.
— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2019
As we’ve already said, Santos must have won the first two rounds. Jones was visibly wary of the Brazilian fighter’s power and for good reason. Since his move to 205lbs, he’s 3-0 and all by KO. That hammer tattooed on his chest is there for a good reason. He’s just got this ridiculous smashing ability.
Because of this, he was able to work Jones’s inside left leg with vicious kicks from a Muay Thai stance. He was also catching Jones on the counter, with the champion unable to control the fight the way we’re so used to seeing. Unfortunately, the turning point came when he picked up a knee injury.
— 💪🏾FITE.talk 🥊 (@FiteTalk) July 7, 2019
After the fight, Thiago Santos refused to blame the injury for his close loss, but you’ve definitely got to wonder what would have happened if he was able to operate at full capacity for the whole fight. He tweaked it at the end of the first round and it just became more and more aggravated.
Jones was able to assert himself in rounds three and four, landing spinning kicks and outstriking his game but compromised opponent. Santos’s leg even gave way underneath him a few times. It looked like they were even going into the fifth round. Jones definitely landed more strikes but Santos landed heavier shots.
Eventually, Jones would retain his title by way of a split decision. The champion was pushed hard for sure and Santos can be proud of his effort. One judge gave him the fight even though he’d fought most of it on one leg. Jones probably just did enough, but a draw really wouldn’t have been unfair after an unusually restrained fight by ‘Bones.’ He might have won but his aura was definitely dented.
— José Youngs (@JoseYoungs) July 7, 2019
This was a wild night in Las Vegas. Luke Rockhold was basically ended by Jan Blachowicz by way of brutal KO. Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes defended one of her two belts against Holly Holm, head-kicking her into oblivion.
But the most terrifying moment on this card was when Jorge Masvidal literally ran through Ben Askren with the fastest KO in UFC history. There were just five seconds on the clock when the referee stopped the fight after ‘Gamebred’ smashed ‘Funky’ with the craziest flying knee you’ll ever see.