Oddsmakers Favor Jones and Nunes as UFC 239 Card Announced

Oddsmakers Favor Jones and Nunes as UFC 239 Card Announced
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Kelsey McCarson for Bookies.com

By Kelsey McCarson | | 2 mins

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The best fighter in the world is cleaning out his division.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones returns to action on July 6 against Thiago Santos at UFC 239 in Las Vegas. According to reports, the pay-per-view battle will probably take place at the T-Mobile arena.

According to PaddyPower, Jones, 31, of New Mexico, is a huge favorite on the early UFC betting markets at -900. Santos, 35, of Rio de Janeiro, is +500 as the underdog.

Is Jon Jones Unbeatable?

Jones is coming off a dominant decision win over Anthony Smith at UFC 235 and perhaps an even more impressive finish over Alexander Gustaffson at UFC 232. Next up is Santos, who is 3-0 at light heavyweight since moving up from the middleweight division last year.

The Brazilian is ranked No. 3 in the division but will be facing an uphill battle against Jones, perhaps the best MMA fighter of all-time. While Santos has looked impressive during recent fights and probably deserves his light heavyweight title shot, it’s hard to see how he’ll be able to match up against Jones.

After all, Jones is seen as one of the premier competitors in UFC history and is still considered to be fighting in his prime. Virtually undefeated inside the octagon, Jones’ lone blemish was a 2009 disqualification loss Matt Hammil due to downward elbow strikes in a fight he was dominating.

He’s reeled off 15 straight wins since that happened, notching victories over a myriad of elite competition which has solidified his stature as the top fighter in the sport.

Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm in Co-Main Event

Fresh off her stunning 51-second victory over Cris Cyborg at UFC 232, double champ Amanda Nunes is set to face Holly Holm for Nunes’ 135-pound bantamweight title.

Since dethroning Cyborg, Nunes has seen her standing among the best fighters in the sport increase. She’s ranked No. 6 pound-for-pound by the UFC, and win over Holm would only bolster her claim to being the most accomplished female UFC fighter in history.

According to PaddyPower, Nunes is a -275 favorite. Holm is +188 as the underdog, and it’s a battle between the two fighters who effectively ended former UFC megastar Rhonda Rousey’s MMA career.

Nunes, Holm aka The Rousey Killers

Both Nunes and Holm shockingly stopped Rousey in what were considered huge upsets.

First, it was Holm, who shockingly stopped Rousey during the second round of their megafight at UFC 193 in 2015. Next, it was Nunes, who played spoiler to Rousey’s assumed return party the following year, demolishing her in just 48 seconds. Rousey retired soon after the fight and has since gone on to perform in the WWE.

But Nunes and Holm have experienced different fates since the big wins.

  • Nunes is on a incredible run. The 30-year-old has won three straight fights against an extremely high level of opposition which includes current strawweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, top contender Raquel Pennington and Cyborg.
  • Holm, on the other hand, has gone just 2-4. The 37-year-old notched wins over Bethe Correia and Megan Anderson but hasn’t really been able to recapture that pre-Rousey fight magic. She’s likely in for a tough night against Nunes, but her movement and striking ability might at least present the aggressive Nunes a different set of problems to solve.