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UFC 239: Jones vs Santos Odds, Preview and Prediction

Christian Pina is a professional sports bettor and host of InsideVegas on the Sports Gambling Podcast Network as well as a contributor for CP Sports. He has provided a breakdown and pick for each fight on the UFC 239 card.

Jon Jones (-700) vs Thiago Santos (+450)

There’s always an aura when you get to see one of the greatest athletes of all time in their field. In the case of Jon Jones (24-1), it’s always polarizing, but inside the Octagon you have to respect greatness. Jones has turned over this division two times over and while Santos has the power in his hands that many others lack in the division, Jones wins this fight a true number of times, the odds imply.

There are a few outside narratives in this one. As we saw with Demetrious Johnson, “stay busy” title fights can eventually make you let your guard down and at this level it only takes a split second. We now know Henry Cejudo is just that good, but Jones has made a huge effort to stay active since returning to action post-USADA suspension.

When you look back at his fights since returning, he won a dominant decision against Anthony Smith in what was basically a televised sparring session, after a vintage Jon Jones TKO against Alexander Gustafsson in his return. 

Thiago Santos (21-6) is going to have to employ a style of fight he is not used to, which involves being patient, picking his spots and taking calculated risks, rather than the free-flowing wild swings that have brought him success in the past. Due to the reach advantage Jones possesses, if Santos can’t do that, he could find himself on the end of a Jones elbow or being constantly picked apart at distance for the duration of the fight as Jones is just too technical and precise for Santos.

There are two ways this fight can go for Santos. I don’t think he can hang blow for blow and outpoint Jones, so he can go for broke eventually and unleash his offensive flurry, or he can be more calculated and wait for the perfect moment that may never come. After all, Jones rarely leaves any openings.

As for what happens for Jones after this fight, he will have to decide whether he is more comfortable earning accolades in this division while fending off a steady stream of challengers who are frankly not on his level, or if the rumored switch to heavyweight is indeed on the horizon for him. That rumor is certainly picking up steam by the day. After all, Daniel Cormier and the trilogy is the money fight now that Brock Lesnar is out of the running for DC.

Pick: Jon Jones via knockout

UFC 239: Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos Betting Odds
Jon Jones-700
Thiago Santos+450

Odds as of July 4 at Bovada