UFC 239 takes place this Saturday, July 6, and we’re here to bring you all of the best bets for this event.
Read on for our detailed breakdown of Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos, Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm, and Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren.
You’ll find all of the best odds, as well as our recommended betting advice for each of these fights happening at UFC 239.
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos
Jon Jones is set to make his third title defense in just seven months when he faces Thiago Santos in a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout this weekend.
Despite what the current UFC pound-for-pound rankings may have you believe, many fans consider Jon Jones not only to be the greatest mixed martial artist in the world today but potentially the greatest of all-time, as well.
With 24 wins and 1 defeat to his name, Jones has defeated all of the toughest challenges that the promotion could muster up for him. That one lone loss was via disqualification after Jones hit Matt Hamill with an illegal strike back in 2009. His record includes wins over Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, Chael Sonnen, and many more. Jones has beaten the best from the prior generation of the sport and he now remains on top in the current generation.
In his most recent fight, Jones defended his title successfully against Anthony Smith. Somewhat surprisingly, however, Jones wasn’t able to finish Smith inside the distance and walked away with a unanimous decision win.
Thiago Santos has torn his way through the light heavyweight division since arriving in 2018. The Brazilian has now racked up a four-fight winning streak that is backed by recent wins over former top contenders including Jan Blachowicz and Jimi Manuwa. He also holds wins over other top fighters including Anthony Smith and Jack Hermansson.
Santos has come a long way since losing by submission to Eric Spicely in 2016. While not many expected him to come within range of a title shot, he has the chance to claim gold and manage one of the greatest upsets in UFC title fight history if he can defeat Jon Jones this weekend.
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos Odds
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos Breakdown
It would be unfair to entirely discredit Santos’ chances of upsetting Jones in this main event.
Santos is extremely powerful and reasonably unpredictable – that alone leaves him with the ideal recipe of how to score a major upset victory in mixed martial arts. Many fellow fighters and pundits believe that if anyone can catch Jones out, it’s Santos.
He can work with the body and head with destructive kicks and his fearless aggression helps him to set an unbelievable pace.
But most of all, if Santos wants any chance of defeating Jones at UFC 239, he’s going to need to fight like he doesn’t fear losing. Interestingly, Anthony Smith realized that many of Jones’ opponents freeze in front of the champion when they finally step inside the cage with them and he promised that he wouldn’t do the same.
On fight night, however, Smith didn’t open up with his strikes and allowed Jones to settle into the fight.
That’s a crucial mistake against any opponent, but it’s the worst mistake to make against Jones.
The champion is a highly intelligent fighter who is capable of making amazing reads and adjustments mid-fight. If he finds himself struggling with one area in particular (for example, Gustafsson’s boxing), Jones will make rapid changes to his strategy and tactics, allowing him to nullify that advantage and work to his own strengths.
Regardless of his advanced mindset, Jones also has an array of techniques that make him an extremely difficult opponent to face.
One of Jones’ commonly effective strikes is his oblique kick, which targets the lead leg of his opponent. The oblique kick pushes forward to the front of the thigh and knee and is a strike that demands instant respect from an opponent considering the dangers of moving forward into a kick that can push your knee back the wrong way.
Jones uses the oblique kick to remain at a safe fighting distance, allowing him to use his absurd length and range to his advantage.
Furthermore, Jones has an excellent wrestling/grappling game that many fans forget to consider. If Santos does overwhelm Jones on the feet early in the contest (not unlikely), it’s possible that Jones will get this fight to the mat where he should easily control his opponent if he can secure top position.
At these odds, betting on Jon Jones may initially seem like a bad idea, but the value is still very much there for bettors this Saturday.
Bet on Jon Jones to win: -625 at Bet365
Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm
Just as many consider Jon Jones to be the greatest male mixed martial artist competing today, the vast majority of fans believe that Amanda Nunes is the best female to have ever competed in the UFC.
Nunes cemented her place as the “GOAT” with a first-round, first-minute knockout win over a fighter who many thought to be unstoppable, Cris Cyborg. That win came in December last year and backed up a bantamweight title defense for the champion in May that year.
Since winning the title from Miesha Tate in July 2016, Nunes has remained undefeated and scored big wins against Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington and then Cyborg.
Holly Holm has lost four of her last six fights and just one of her two wins have come in the bantamweight division, but she’s been thrown forward as the next in line for a shot against Amanda Nunes.
Holm’s best known for scoring a major underdog victory against Ronda Rousey in 2015 in Melbourne. After winning the title from Rousey as a +830 underdog, she then lost her title to Miesha Tate not long after.
Holm’s bounced between featherweight and bantamweight since and lost two title challenges against Cris Cyborg and Germaine de Randamie in 2017.
After a win against Megan Anderson in June last year, Holm now has the chance to win her second UFC title.
Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm Odds
Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm Breakdown
As the odds suggest, it’s not going to be easy for Holly Holm to defeat Amanda Nunes at UFC 239, but Holm is one who has never done things the easy way, anyhow.
Time and time again, fans have written off Holm’s chances as a mixed martial artist and she has continually surprised on fight night with her excellent movement, distance management, and round-winning abilities. She doesn’t pack extreme power in her punches and that’s an immediate contrast to the heavy-hitting style of Amanda Nunes, but she does have an exceptional kicking game.
The knockout threat of her kicks was on display in Singapore two years ago when Holm crushed Bethe Correia with a question mark kick and finished her in the third round.
But to beat Amanda Nunes, Holm is going to need to keep moving laterally and disallow Nunes from closing the distance and working her boxing. Holm will need to be careful using her strikes to keep Nunes away, as Nunes can answer back with heavy straight punches.
Holm is remarkably strong in the clinch and can defend most takedowns and positions there well, but Nunes has expressed a desire to take Holm down and test her grappling at UFC 239.
Nunes has a great top game and ground and pound, so it’s likely that if she can get Holm to the mat she’ll be able to at least win rounds and potentially score a stoppage win.
This one is Amanda Nunes’ to lose and it’s hard to see her coming up short on Saturday. Bet accordingly.
Bet on Amanda Nunes to win: -350 at MyBookie
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren aren’t fighting for a title and it’s not the main event, but fans around the world are looking forward to watching these two welterweights collide for a number of reasons.
Jorge Masvidal is a born fighter and as tough as they come. Just like Khabib Nurmagomedov is known to have wrestled bears at a young age, Masvidal is known to have been in bare-knuckle street fights long before the UFC.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Masvidal doesn’t have the technique of a true martial artist, though. In March, Masvidal stunned many when he crashed hard punches into Darren Till’s head and ended his night in the second round.
Some fans – and Darren Till himself – considered Till to be one of the best strikers in the UFC, so for Masvidal to finish him in such a decisive way was promising for his career.
Ben “Funky” Askren is one of the biggest draws in the UFC right now despite only having one fight with the promotion so far. Now 19-0 in his career and a former Bellator and ONE Championship title holder, Askren has finally joined the UFC and got his time with the promotion off to a good start by “defeating” Robbie Lawler in March.
Some don’t consider Askren’s effort a victory in any way, though, as he was almost knocked out by Lawler in the opening minute of the contest and then proceeded to win after an error was made by referee Herb Dean, who stopped the fight because he believed that Lawler was unconscious – but he wasn’t.
Controversy aside, Askren’s undefeated record speaks for itself and there’s a chance that he can slide into a title shot if he beats Masvidal this weekend.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren Odds
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren Breakdown
Whereas Masvidal is quite a well-rounded fighter with excellent boxing ability and decent grappling, Askren is almost the complete opposite and may actually be the least well-rounded fighter in the UFC today.
Askren is one of the very best wrestlers in mixed martial arts but also one of the worst strikers. Fortunately for Askren, he’s always found a way to implement his grappling game and drag his opponent around the cage, controlling the fight from start to finish.
Lawler proved that a step up in competition wouldn’t mean that Askren can continue with his straightforward approach, however, and Askren took plenty of damage after being slammed on his head and hit with several hard shots after.
For Askren, the gameplan is simple. Move forward and lock onto Masvidal in some way or form. One Askren secures some type of grip, he’s a hard man to stop as his chain wrestling is genuinely elite. Masvidal has shown an ability to defend grappling sequences well in the past, but Askren is on another level and may easily ragdoll Masvidal once he tires him.
Yet, from our perspective, it’s hard to confidently back Askren to win because of his genuinely embarrassing striking ability. If Masvidal can keep it standing for even a minute, it’s likely that he’ll be able to open up Askren with strikes and turn this into a wild fight – much like the Lawler one.
At these odds, Masvidal makes for a fantastic bet and looks to be the best value on the entire UFC 239 fight card.
Bet on Jorge Masvidal to win: +190 at William Hill
Best UFC 239 Bets
- Jon Jones to win: -625 at Bet365
- Amanda Nunes to win: -350 at MyBookie
- Jorge Masvidal to win: +190 at William Hill