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Jon Jones edges Santos via split decision while Nunes outclasses Holm inside opening round

Jones defended his light heavyweight title last night while Holly Holm came up short against Amanda Nunes.

Thiago Santos trades punches with Jon Jones at UFC 239.
Thiago Santos trades punches with Jon Jones at UFC 239.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

JON JONES SUCCESSFULLY defended his UFC light heavyweight title on Saturday night, defeating Thiago Santos via split decision after five rounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada at UFC 239.

Santos was the underdog heading into Saturday’s bout against the all-conquering Jones but by no means sold himself short, offering a brilliant display in a tight contest which saw the champion prevail after five absorbing rounds.

Both men picked at the other’s legs throughout a close affair. Santos hung on with limited mobility towards the end of the fight thanks to persistent, hard attacks from Jones on his opponent’s leading leg before an elbow saw Santos’ forehead cut open during the third round. 

“I’m proud of myself actually,” Jones said. “I stood and fought with a guy who’s been kickboxing way longer than me.”

“I felt like I was winning. There was no need to go for a show, we were playing a very high level chess match in there. I think he made me look bad.”

Elsewhere, Amanda Nunes overcame Holly Holm via TKO inside the opening round of their women’s bantamweight meeting in Nevanda.

Nunes landed an early head kick, following it up with a successful take-down which preceded a two-punch combination.

Nunes persisted, knocking Holm down again shortly after and unleashing a barrage of punches on the ground before the referee was forced to intervene.

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

UFC 239 results:

  • Jon Jones def. Thiago Santos via Decision (split) — Round 5
  • Amanda Nunes def. Holly Holm via TKO (head kick and punches) — Round 1
  • Jorge Masvidal def. Ben Askren via KO (flying knee) — Round 1
  • Jan Błachowicz def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punches) — Round 2
  • Michael Chiesa def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision — Round 3

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