Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos: Predictions, Betting Tips, Odds & Statistics

UFC 239 Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos
Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos, Light Heavyweight, T-Mobile Arena

A stacked card at UFC 239 culminates with a huge main event as Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight crown against the dangerous Brazilian Thiago Santos.

Tale of the tape



Jon Jones
24-1-0, 1NC

Thiago Santos
21-6-0

31 Age 35
6’3” Height 6’2”
205 ibs Weight 205 ibs
84.5 in Reach 76 in

Predictions and Betting Tips

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is looking to write another chapter in his legacy this weekend, as the undisputed light heavyweight champion bids to knock off the division’s #2 ranked challenger. Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos meanwhile is looking to cut a legend down to size, but the Brazilian faces the toughest fight of his career against a man very much in the conversation when it comes to the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

Jones looks to have put his troubled past behind him, and seems more focused on his craft than ever. Santos is a fearsome striker, as alluded to by his nickname which translates to English as ‘The Sledgehammer’. Yet he faces an incredibly difficult task if he’s going to become the first man to beat Jones, whose sole loss on his record came via a controversial disqualification almost 10 years ago.

Santos knows he needs to be unpredictable if he’s going to stand a chance of winning, but Jones is the master of unpredictability. As per usual, the champion brings a huge reach advantage into this fight. The variety and precision of his striking, coupled with his ability to control distance, means few opponents ever get close to him.

Marreta will certainly have a go at that though. We could see the Brazilian rushing in early, like he did in his stunning fight against Jimi Manuwa in December, which he won by knockout early in the second round. It’s rare that Jones is troubled by aggression, but this would appear to be Santos’s only path to success.

Although he’s impressed in his three fights at light heavyweight so far, winning all three by KO or TKO, the challenger won’t stand a chance if he stays on the outside. He needs to try and rough up Jones with his powerful punches and dynamic kicking game, and make the most of his ability to land brutal knees in the clinch.

With that said, Jones is the heavy favourite to successfully defend his title, priced at 1/6 with some of the best betting sites. Santos is out at 9/2 for the upset, but there isn’t much to suggest the Brazilian is going to be the man to end Jones’s reign. He offers little the champ hasn’t seen before, and more often than not, dealt with in style.

Five of Santos’s six defeats have come inside the distance, with three of those by way of KO or TKO. At 6/4, that looks like being the most likely method of victory for Jones at UFC 239. However, two of Marreta’s defeats have come via submission, while Bones has six submission victories on his record. He is 11/4 to make it six this weekend.

Odds

Jon Jones
Thiago Santos
10bet
Bwin
Boylesports Odds
betway

Statistics

  • Jon Jones has never been beaten in his MMA career – the loss on his record is due to a disqualification for illegal downward elbows against Matt Hamill in December 2009
  • Thiago Santos has lost five of his 18 fights in the UFC, although he’s 3-0 in the light heavyweight division
  • Jones beat Anthony Smith via unanimous decision in his last fight, while Santos beat Lionheart with a second-round TKO in Brazil 16 months ago
  • Jones boasts a 57% striking accuracy and 47% grappling accuracy, while Santos comes into the fight at 51% striking and 40% grappling
  • 15 of Santos’s 21 wins have come via knockout, with five in the first round

John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.

All Predictions by John Abrams

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