UFC 239: Jones vs. Santos Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 239: Jones vs. Santos will air on July 6, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Early Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

JULIA “RAGING PANDA” AVILA (6-1-0) vs PANNIE “BANZAI” KIANZAD (11-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Avila brings striking and grappling. Kianzad brings boxing, shootfight, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are similar in every style; Kianzad is more aggressive. Avila will be keeping up with her, but she soon will get caught and taken to the ground. Kianzad will then use ground-and-pound to score crucial points to win over the judges. My prediction: Kianzad wins via unanimous decision.

ISMAIL “THE AUSTRIAN WONDERBOY” NAURDIEV (18-2-0) vs CHANCE “BLACK EAGLE” RENCOUNTRE (13-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Naurdiev brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Rencountre brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. The boxing power of Rencountre appears to be a big challenge for Naurdiev. Naurdiev is tough and can take a punch, which will make Rencountre’s boxing just about useless. Naurdiev will bring the fight to the ground and out grapple Rencountre while using ground-and-pound. This process will continue until the final bell. My prediction: Naurdiev wins via unanimous decision.

EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN (9-0-0) vs JACK “THE HAMMER” MARSHMAN (23-8-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Shahbazyan brings boxing and karate. Marshman brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. The jiu-jitsu Marshman possesses should give Shahbazyan a challenge. However, Shahbazyan’s boxing and karate will prove too much for Marshman. He will attack Marshman while defending against any attacks Marshman throws his way. This will make it difficult for Marshman to try to use his jiu-jitsu as Shahbazyan keeps him under pressure. My prediction: Shahbazyan wins via knockout in Round 1.

Preliminary Card (ESPN)

#14 ALEJANDRO “TURBO” PEREZ (21-7-1) vs SONG “THE TERMINATOR” YADONG (14-4-0, 2 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Perez brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Yadong brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Similar styles; Perez brings more experience. His boxing is more accurate and will cause more damage. Yadong will be able to withstand the attacks for a good period of time. He will soon take too much damage and Perez will take him to the ground. There he will keep him under his control until the very end. My prediction: Perez wins via unanimous decision.

#6 CLAUDIA “CLAUDINHA” GADELHA (16-4-0) vs #14 RANDA “QUIET STORM” MARKOS (9-6-1)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Gadelha brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Markos brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Markos’ wrestling looks to be the plan of attack to takedown Gadelha. Gadelha has great takedown defense and will be pressuring Markos making it difficult for her to try and use it. Gadelha will then use her Muay Thai to cause serious damage to Markos. This will weaken Markos greatly as Gadelha keeps her under pressure at all times. My prediction: Gadelha wins via unanimous decision.

MARLON “CHITO” VERA (13-5-1) vs NOHELIN HERNANDEZ (10-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Vera brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Hernandez brings striking and grappling. The striking Hernandez possesses is good, but not enough. Vera is more accurate and will use his jiu-jitsu to help as well. Hernandez will try to defend, but his takedown defense is not that great and it will cost him. My prediction: Vera wins via submission in Round 1.

GILBERT “EL NINO” MELENDEZ (22-7-0) VS. ARNOLD” ALMIGHTY” ALLEN (14-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Melendez brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former WEC and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion. Allen brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Being a former champion Melendez looks to take this fight. However, he has not had the same speed or aggression as before, which will be his downfall in this fight. Allen is full of energy and has plenty of abilities to show. He will control Melendez with his boxing while avoiding any takedowns Melendez tries on him. He will also use his kickboxing to cause more damage to Melendez and control him even greater. My prediction: Allen wins via unanimous decision.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View – ESPN+)

DIEGO “LIONHEART” SANCHEZ (29-11-0) vs MICHAEL “MAVERICK” CHIESA (15-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Sanchez brings Gaidojutsu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Chiesa brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Sanchez is a tough fighter and looks to give Chiesa a run for his money. Chiesa will be keeping a good pace against Sanchez while setting up a clean takedown. Once he lands one he will have Sanchez playing his game. There, Chiesa will grapple with Sanchez until Sanchez exposes himself giving Chiesa the opening he needs to put him away. My prediction: Chiesa wins via submission in Round 2.

#6 JAN “PRINCE OF CIESZYN” BLACHOWICZ (23-8-0) vs #3(MW) LUKE ROCKHOLD (16-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Blachowicz brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Rockhold brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former Strikeforce and UFC Middleweight Champion. Rockhold’s jiu-jitsu is top notch and looks to be Blachowicz’s downfall. However, Rockhold’s chin appears to have grown weaker with each passing fight. That is where Blachowicz will take advantage by keeping the fight standing. He will strike with him until he finds Rockhold’s opening and goes in for the kill. My prediction: Blachowicz wins via knockout in Round 2.

#4 JORGE “GAMEBRED” MASVIDAL (33-13-0) vs #5 BEN “FUNKY” ASKREN (19-0-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Masvidal brings boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling. Askren brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are highly skilled and will be putting on a show. Masvidal’s boxing and kickboxing combinations will be a great challenge for Askren to overcome. Askren will be able to withstand the attacks and strike with Masvidal. He will begin to pressure him before using his wrestling to bring Masvidal to the ground. They will grapple with each other before Askren takes full control. He will keep Masvidal under his grip until forcing him to quit. My prediction: Askren wins via submission in Round 3.

(C) AMANDA “THE LIONESS” NUNES (17-4-0) vs #1 HOLLY “THE PREACHER’S DAUGHTER” HOLM (12-4-0)
This is a five-round co-main event for the women’s bantamweight championship. Nunes brings boxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. She is the current bantamweight and featherweight champion. Holm brings boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. She is a former bantamweight champion. Both have great striking with knockout power behind it. Holm’s boxing and kickboxing combinations are a great match and appear to give Nunes a true challenge. Nunes will be able to absorb Holm’s strikes while throwing her own. This will continue until Nunes begins to wear Holm down and ring her to the ground. There she will ground-and-pound her to weaken her more and continue that plan of attack until the end. My prediction: Nunes wins via unanimous decision.

(C) JON “BONES” JONES (24-1-0, 1 NC) vs #2 THIAGO “DE LIMA MARRETA” SANTOS (21-6-0)
This is a five-round main event for the light heavyweight championship. Jones brings Muay Thai, Gaidojutsu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a three-time light heavyweight champion; he is the current champion. Santos brings Muay Thai, capoeira, and jiu-jitsu. Santos possesses outstanding knockout power from his Muay Thai that appears to be big trouble for Jones. However, Santos is not as fast as Jones nor does he possess the cardio and grappling to take on Jones. This will be how Jones takes advantage of Santos by avoiding all his attacks and bringing Santos to the ground. There he will grapple with him until landing some nasty attacks to where Santos can no longer defend. My prediction: Bones wins via TKO in Round 3.