Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos Next?
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Jon Jones put in a dominant performance Saturday night at UFC 235, where he defended his UFC light-heavyweight championship against Anthony Smith. Although it was a unanimous decision win, he clearly dominated the fight in every possible category. Smith was resilient throughout and had a few moments of success against the champion, but Jones’ skills were just too much for him to handle.
Jones threw an illegal knee in the fourth round and could’ve been disqualified had Smith not been able to continue. As a result, Jones was deducted two points by Herb Dean and went on to get the unanimous decision win after continuing his control in the fifth round.
With the win, there is now discussion on who deserves the next shot at Jones’ championship. During the post-fight press conference, Dana White brought up Thiago Santos as the next potential challenger. Much like Smith, Santos moved up from middleweight and has had a lot of success; he’s on a four-fight win streak and 3-0 at light-heavyweight with wins over Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa, and Jan Blachowicz, and all wins coming by KO or TKO. In fact, Santos also has a TKO win over Anthony Smith, when both fighters fought at middleweight last February.
Santos’ fighting style also makes a bout with Jones intriguing because he’s a very powerful fighter, who’s been able to finish his opponents in impressive fashion. Santos could pose a realistic threat to Jones because he’s able maintain his aggressive style without getting too emotional and going away from his gameplan, which has been a problem for some of Jones’ opponents in the past.
Jones has teased a move to heavyweight to take on Brock Lesnar but Dana White put an end to those rumours at the press-conference by saying Daniel Cormier will be fighting Lesnar when he’s ready, so a move to heavyweight may be unlikely.
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