Jones, Nunes Retain at KO-Filled UFC 239

It was a close call, with Jon Jones losing on a scorecard for the first time in his career, but he successfully retained the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Thiago Santos at UFC 239.

Both men traded throughout the first round, each landing decent shots but Santos did manage to tag Jones quite a few times with power shots. As the second came around, however, it appeared Santos tweaked his knee, though to his credit, still managed to produce an even round with the defending champ.

The tide turned in round three, however, as Jones tagged Santos throughout and busted him open with an elbow. And to make matters worse for Santos, the condition of his knee continued to deteriorate.

After a quiet fourth round, which saw Santos stay mostly defensive, the two stayed patient once again and traded shots in the fifth and final round. Jones seemed to be the more aggressive; however, he did have to take more of Santos’ power.

In the end, one judge gave Santos the fight 48-47; however, the remaining two judges gave 48-47 scores in Jones’ favor, allowing him to yet again retain the UFC’s 205-pound title.

The win also allowed Jones to tie Georges St Pierre for most title fight victories in UFC history.

Outside of the main event, the card featured plenty of action and finishes. This included the co-main event, in which Amanda Nunes successfully defended the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship against Holly Holm.

Holm looked to hold her own early on by tagging Nunes some and getting up quickly from a takedown attempt. But, ironically enough, it would be a head kick that ended her night.

Nunes has now defeated all of the UFC women’s bantamweight champions that came before her, as well as Cris Cyborg and Valentina Shevchenko, giving her plenty of argument for the G.O.A.T. claim for women’s MMA.

Jorge Masvidal set a new UFC record for quickest knockout, dropping Ben Askren and ending his undefeated record in five seconds with a flying knee out the gate.

Former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold received a grueling welcome to the UFC’s light heavyweight division, getting knocked out by Jan Blachowicz. While despite Diego Sanchez’s best efforts to fight back, he was ultimately outclassed and dropped a decision to Michael Chiesa.

Main card Results

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: (c) Jon Jones def. Thiago Santos via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship: (c) Amanda Nunes def. Holly Holm via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:10)

Jorge Masvidal def. Ben Askren via KO (Rd. 1, 0:05)

Jan Blachowicz def. Luke Rockhold via KO (Rd. 2, 1:39)

Michael Chiesa def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

Undercard Results

Arnold Allen def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Marlon Vera def. Nohelin Hernandez via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 2, 3:25)

Claudia Gadelha def. Randa Markos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Yadong Song def. Alejandro Perez via KO (Rd. 1, 2:04)

Undercard Results

Edmen Shahbazyan def. Jack Marshman via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 1:12)

Chance Rencountre def. Ismail Naurdiev via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Julia Avila def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

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