A busy month of July kicks off this weekend with one of the most highly anticipated fight cards of the year with UFC 239 set to take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jon Jones is back and ready to defend his crown against upstart trash-talker Thiago Santos. Is this just another big win for Jones or will he have some trouble?
Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos
Anybody that watched what Francis Ngannou did to Junior Dos Santos this past weekend understands full well the potential for what Jon Jones could do to Santos. After all, Jones is listed at the sportsbooks as a -600 favourite for a reason, and nobody will be surprised if he proved why at UFC 239.
Jones has never actually been defeated by an opponent, with his lone career loss coming via disqualification. After back-to-back wins over Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith, UFC sports bettors can expect Jones to successfully defend his title with a knockout win over Santos.
Amanda Nunes vs. Holly Holm
There is no point in sugarcoating the fact that the other championship fight on the main card for UFC 239 also has the potential to be a one-sided affair. The women’s bantamweight champion is coming off back-to-back TKO and KO wins over Raquel Pennington and Cris Cyborg to extend her personal win streak to eight in a row. Next up for Nunes is Holm, who only recently lost to Cyborg back in December of last year. Nunes has been an absolute beast since coming in to her own in the UFC. The oddsmakers expect her to score a victory here as she’s a -335 sports betting favourite to beat Holm at UFC 239.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben Askren
Askren’s march towards a UFC Welterweight title shot continues against Masvidal, who just rebounded from back-to-back losses to Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson with a win over Darren Till. While that knockout win over Till was impressive, Masvidal will face a much tougher test against the undefeated Askren. At 19-0, Askren appears to be the real deal and he showed it with a first-round submission win over Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut at UFC 235.
Askren is on the board as a -250 favourite while Masvidal comes in at +195.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Luke Rockhold
Easily the best matchup on the main card, Blachowicz has some serious upset potential as a slight underdog versus Rockhold. While he is coming off a TKO loss to Thiago Santos, Blachowicz is a smart fighter that understands how to stay patient and bait his opponents into making mistakes.
For his part, Rockhold has struggled over the last couple of years with losses to Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero bookending a win over David Branch in September of 2017. Both losses came via knockout and Rockhold just hasn’t looked the same ever since. He had been 15-2 and was the UFC Middleweight Champion before that.
At any rate, Rockhold is on the board as -170 favourite here while Blachowicz is posted as a +140 underdog.