Although Jon Jones defended his title successfully at UFC 239, it wasn’t the type of performance that many were expecting of the light heavyweight champion.
Thiago Santos, the challenger, came out strong in round one before seemingly injuring his leg in the middle of round two. Despite this, it appeared to some that Santos was up 2-0 heading into the third round.
Jones settled into the fight in round three and began working the lead leg of Santos. He had success stabbing the body with kicks, as well. In the middle rounds, whenever Santos attempted to move forward and close the distance, Jones stepped back out of range and evaded the danger.
The last round appeared to favor Santos, as well. He landed some heavy punches that Jones took extremely well.
At the end of five rounds, the official scorecards read 47-48, 48-47, 48-47 in favor of Jon Jones.
Here’s how UFC fighters reacted to Jon Jones’ split decision win against Thiago Santos at UFC 239:
I also think had @TMarretaMMA not blown his knee would’ve been different result Congrats to both show of technical striking and toughness .
— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) July 7, 2019
Despite not getting the W and looking like he tore his ACL in the 2nd round, Santos looked great and it could have arguably gone his way…
Great technical fight!! 👏🏻👏🏻 #UFC239
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) July 7, 2019
You gotta take it from the Champ good fight Thiago heart of a lion
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 7, 2019
Honestly I think Jones could have done better too he looked bored or unmotivated. Who knows
— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) July 7, 2019
Santos fought great but honestly I thought Jones won 4 of those rds
— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) July 7, 2019
I give it 3-2 to santos if they judged it right
— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) July 7, 2019
Such respect! I’ll be waiting for the rematch! Amazing fight through adversity by santos !
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) July 7, 2019