Fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, Jon “Bones” Jones, 31, successfully defended his title as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s reigning champion in the light heavyweight division. He defeated his challenger Thiago “Marreta” Santos, 35, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at “UFC 239.”
Featuring 12 mixed martial arts matches, “UFC 239” took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, USA on July 6, 2019. In the main event of the evening, Jones and Santos battled it out for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship belt.
Herb Dean served as the referee of the title bout between Jones and Santos. After five five-minute rounds, the bout was left in the hands of the judges and in the end, Dean raised the hand of Jones, who was declared the winner via split decision.
Winning at “UFC 239” improved the professional MMA record of Jones to 24 wins, 1 loss and 1 No Contest. On the other hand, Santos now has 21 wins and 6 losses.
“UFC 239” marked the 19th victory of Jones in the UFC. He joined the promotion in 2008 and the first six opponents he defeated in the promotion were Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar, Jake O’Brien, Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader.
On March 19, 2011, Jones dethroned then reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua. From late 2011 to early 2015, the Albuquerque native successfully defended the title from Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and Daniel Cormier.
On April 28, 2015, Jones was stripped of the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship belt due to his involvement and arrest in a felony hit-and-run. On April 23, 2016, he became the new interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion but on November 9, 2016, he was stripped of the title due to his 1-year suspension related to a failed pre-fight drug test.
On July 29, 2017, Jones dethroned Daniel Cormier as the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion but the result was overturned to a No Contest on September 13, 2017 due to a failed pre-fight drug test of the former. The latter was retroactively reinstated as the champion but on December 28, 2018, he vacated the title.
On December 29, 2018, Jones defeated Gustafsson in their rematch and filled the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship belt. Before facing Santos at “UFC 239,” the champ defended the title from Anthony Smith on March 2, 2019.
Watch the “UFC 239” post-fight press conference here: