UFC VIP Experience Blog

UFC 239: Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes Spotlight

Posted by Evan Chronis on May 3, 2019 12:28:39 PM

Every year, the world comes together for UFC® International Fight Week. 

For a full week, Las Vegas is taken over by UFC fans who are there for special events, the UFC Hall of Fame Ceremony and a headline card to top off the annual celebration. 

UFC 239

This year, International Fight Week is headlined by UFC 239 — and the promotion is packing its biggest punches for its largest event of the year so far. Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes, two of the most decorated male and female athletes to ever step into The Octagon® and surefire Hall of Famers, will be in the main event and co-main event to defend their titles.

Jon Jones

Jones enters UFC 239 looking for the second title defense of his second reign as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. The revolutionary, yet controversial, athlete won back the 205-pound crown at UFC 232 in a dominant performance against longtime rival Alexander Gustafsson. 

In his first title defense at UFC 235, Jones decimated challenger Anthony Smith over the course of five rounds, but was almost disqualified from the fight after landing an illegal knee to the grounded Smith in the fourth round. However, the fight went on and Jones secured his record ninth career Light Heavyweight title defense. 

While his journey in the UFC has been filled with enough moments of success, drama, intrigue and controversy to one day make an award-winning documentary, Jones' athletic accomplishments are hard to argue against. From setting records since he was 23-years old, to crafting an unforgettable rivalry with Daniel Cormier and coming back from suspension twice to win a title, there isn't much more for Jones' to accomplish within the confines of the cage. 

But we know that he plans to fight 50 times in his career before hanging up his gloves, which means the glass ceiling that we have set for the Light Heavyweight king is bound to be shattered, and soon. 

Jon Jones Career Accolades

  • Two-Time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (current)
  • Former UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Youngest champion in UFC history (23 years, 242 days)
  • Most successful Light Heavyweight title defenses (9)
  • Longest winning streak in Light Heavyweight division history (13)
  • Most Light Heavyweight wins (18)
  • Most submission victories in Light Heavyweight division history (5)
  • Victories over Daniel Cormier, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson (2)

Jones' UFC 239 Opponent: Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos is a relative newcomer to the 205-pound division. In fact, he hasn't even been at the weight class for a full year. 

The longtime Middleweight has competed in the UFC since 2013, but just made the jump to Light Heavyweight in September 2018. In his debut bout at the new weight class, Santos knocked out Eryk Anders and was awarded Fight of the Night honors. 

The train kept rolling for 'Marreta' as he followed up his Light Heavyweight debut with a knockout victory over Jimi Manuwa and TKO win against Jan Blachowicz.

With three consecutive finishes and the Light Heavyweight division looking for new blood atop the rankings, it was only a matter of time before Santos was called to challenge Jones for his belt.

 

Amanda Nunes

'The Lioness' cemented her name as an all-time great with a jaw-dropping, 51-second victory over Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 to become the first woman to hold two championships in UFC history.

The win not only gave Nunes ownership over the UFC Women's Bantamweight and Featherweight Championships, but also extended her winning streak to eight. 

While there have been two other double-champions in UFC history (Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier), Nunes looks to be the first to attempt to defend both belts. 

With Ronda Rousey gone from the promotion since 2016, the retirement of Miesha Tate, and the domination over Cyborg, Nunes is currently sitting as the face of women's MMA. While this is an accomplishment to revel in, it also explains why Nunes is so eager to reign over two divisions at once — she feels she's more fit to do double duty than any of the single challengers in either division are. 

Amanda Nunes Career Accolades

  • First women’s double champion in UFC history
  • Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion
  • Ended 20-fight winning streak of Cris Cyborg at UFC 232
  • Four-Time Performance of the Night winner
  • Other victories over Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko (2) and Sara McMann

Nunes' Opponent: Holly Holm

For most, Holly Holm burst onto the scene after knocking out then-undefeated Ronda Rousey with one of the most viscous head kicks in UFC history. 

Since that career-defining moment, 'The Preacher's Daughter' has had an unpredictable run, with highs, lows and a plethora of opportunity. Holm is 2-4 since the Rousey victory, dropping her Women's Bantamweight title in her first defense and failing to capture the Women's Featherweight Championship on two occasions. 

While the opportunities have continued to come to Holm without great success, it's hard to argue against this matchup. Holm and Nunes have never met in The Octagon, and their striking-heavy styles call for an exciting bout that will certainly get the fans on their feet. 

Get an Official Ticket Package for UFC 239

Be there when Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes defend their titles at UFC 239 with an Official Ticket Package from the UFC VIP Experience. With the fight card of the year set, there's no reason not to be in Las Vegas for this event of epic proportions. Meet fighters, enjoy pre-fight weigh-ins, premium hospitality and more — all with an Official Ticket Package.

UFC 239 Ticket Packages

Topics: UFC 239

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