By the Numbers: Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos

By Mark Raymundo Jul 2, 2019

The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 239 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

On July 6, Jon Jones will be making his second defense of the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title he reclaimed by beating Alexander Gustafsson a second time. His opponent, Thiago Santos, will be making his first stab at the belt. That fight will be the headliner for UFC 239, and the numbers below only speak of its brewing intensity.

Winning streak

Jones’ one and only defeat was a disqualification due to illegal downward elbows he landed on Matt Hamill at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale. That happened on Dec. 5, 2009, and since then, Jones has been in 16 fights, winning 15, with a lone no contest. His long list of victims includes Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier, Ovince St. Preux, Anthony Smith and Gustafsson (twice).

Santos is on a winning run of his own, which now stretches to four. He decisioned Kevin Holland and finished Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Błachowicz. His string of impressive performances is the reason he is now ranked No. 2 at light heavyweight and was awarded the opportunity to challenge Jones for the belt.

UFC championship experience

For Santos, this is a first, and a well-deserved championship bout. Jones, of course, has had multiple championship appearances, 13 to be exact. He snatched the light heavyweight strap from Rua at UFC 128 and defended it eight times before he was stripped of the title for violating the promotion's Athlete Code of Conduct policy — but not without breaking the UFC record for the most consecutive title defenses. He would win the belt twice more and get stripped of it on both occasions due to failed drug tests. But after beating Gustafsson again at UFC 232, he has so far held on to the title.

Common opponent: Anthony Smith

Jones completely dominated Smith in all five rounds when they met at UFC 235. “Lionheart” simply had no answer for Jones’ attacks. Despite being deducted two points in round four following an illegal knee, “Bones” still earned the judges’ nods. Santos, on the other hand, was able to finish Smith in the second frame. It all started with a clean leg kick to the body. “Marreta” rushed forward and landed some punches and elbows until referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight at 2:03.

Finishing rate

With 16 career stoppages in 21 victories, Santos prides of a 76 percent finishing rate. He has recorded 15 wins by KO or TKO and one by submission. Only five of his career wins came by decision. Jones has a slightly lower finishing rate at 67 percent. He holds 10 victories by KO or TKO and six by submission. Eight of those professional wins were by decision.

Career losses

As aforementioned, Jones’ lone defeat was via disqualification to Hamill. As for Santos, he has lost six times in 27 fights, having bowed to Vicente Luque, Cezar Ferreira, Uriah Hall, Gegard Mousasi, Eric Spicely and David Branch. Advertisement


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