UFC 239 was inches away from having a totally unexpected ending. In the main event of the night, John Jones (25-1, 1 NC) defeated Thiago Santos (21-7) with a split decision, retaining his title, but getting booes from the crowd.
Santos picked up a knee injury in the first round, but Jones didn’t finish him off because he feared the Brazilian’s punching power. In those moments, all the fans were expecting to see Jones attack and record another of his vicious TKO’s. But that didn’ happen.
“I am so sorry,” Jones said afterward in the cage. “I know you guys are booing me. We all know that his best chance was to win by knockout. I played it smart.”
Eventually, the referees had to decide the winner. Two of them favored Jonson scoring 48-47 for him, while the third one scored the same result only for Santos.
The fact that one judge saw Jones as the loser, could tell you a lot about the intensity of this fight. It is the first time ever to see him as a loser when one judge reveals his scoring.
— Siga: @Esportes280 (@VideosEsportes) July 7, 2019
Santos was excellent during the event, and he wasn’t inferior in any aspect of the fight. The Brazilian was often aggressive, attacking Jones without any respect. He did take a lot of punches but landed several big-time kicks and strikes on the champion. All this was with his injured knee, and still, Jones didn’t decide to go all the way and try to finish the Brazilian, but preferred to end it without a knockout or a submission.
“I felt like I was winning, so there was no need to take him down,” Jones said. “We were playing a very high-level game of chess in there.
After the battle, the 31-year old from Rochester, New York stated that his opponent created a lot of troubles to him and that he shouldn’t allow that to happen in the future.
“He did a really good job,” Jones said. “He exploited a hole in my game, and that’s something that won’t be there next time.”
Jones recorded his 17th straight UFC triumph, setting the record in this sport. He also tied Georges St-Pierre’s record of 13 title victories.
In the second big event of the night, Amanda Nunes (17-4) proved why many consider her the best female fighter ever. She demolished Holly Holm (12-5) in the first round of their fight, landing a strong kick on her head, sending the American to canvas, finishing the battle with a right hand while the rival was on the ground.
Holm tried to throw a kick of her own, but misjudged the distance, which opened a space for an immediate reaction of the Lioness. The fight ended after four minutes and 10 seconds. With this victory, she became the only female to beat every UFC title-holder from 135 pounds to 145 pounds.
— EagleEyePicks (@EagleEyePicks11) July 7, 2019
Nunes added another big name to her first-round knockout victory collection. Besides Holm, she defeated Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, and Miesha Tate.
The spectators in Las Vegas had the opportunity to see another historic moment – the fastest knockout ever seen in the UFC. Jorge Masvidal knocked out Ben Askren after just 5 seconds of the fight. Masvidal stormed out towards Askren and directly hit him with a flying knee in the chin, automatically knocking out the rival, who was without conscious. He did land several more punches, but the judge in the ring instantly stopped the match.
“He’s so predictable, man. He’s a scrub,” Masvidal said after the fight. While Askren lied on the ground following the knockout, Masvidal reached out to him and trash-talked.
— Ares M (@air_ezz) July 7, 2019
One of the reporters suggested that his punches after the knee hit were unnecessary, but the 35-year old ripped him by saying that “they were super necessary.”
Up next, we have UFC 240, scheduled for July 27th in Edmonton, at Rodgers Place. The main event will be the clash between Max Holloway and Frankie Edgar.ult