Jon Jones was challenged by Thiago Santos for his light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 239. The fight took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada. Remarkably, the Brazilian was able to take the fight to the distance with torn ligaments.
According to ESPN, Santos suffered four injuries while exchanging heavy blows with Jon Jones at UFC 239. During the fight, he tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL, which are three of the four main ligaments found inside the knee. To make things worse, Santos also suffered a torn meniscus - the reason why he could barely hold himself up on both feet.
'Bones' edged past Santos with a narrow split decision win, as the judges scored the contest 47-48, 48-47, 48-47 in Jones' favor. To this day, many argue Santos should have been declared the winner of the fight.
'Marreta,' however, inflicted serious damage on Jon Jones. The then-light heavyweight champion didn't leave the T-Mobile arena unscathed, thanks to Santos' brutal calf kicks.
Santos told ESPN he twisted his knee while attempting to land a kick in the final seconds of the first round. Speaking on how he was able to withstand the injuries throughout the whole fight, Santos said:
"I just couldn't put any weight [on] my left leg and I couldn't get hit as well. It would be impossible to sustain the pain if he kicked me there. I had to go southpaw the whole fight, protecting this leg."
Who are Thiago Santos and Jon Jones likely to fight next?
Thiago Santos entered the octagon at UFC 239 on the back of four incredible victories over Kevin Holland, Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa, and Jan Blachowicz.
Since losing to Jon Jones, the fight game hasn't served him well, as he went on to lose his next two fights against Glover Teixeira and Alexander Rakic. From being a No.1 contender, Santos has slumped to fourth position in the UFC light heavyweight division rankings. Having fought recently at UFC 259, it is not yet clear who Santos may challenge in his next outing.
Meanwhile, Jon Jones has moved up a weight class to lay claim to the heavyweight championship. Bones stated he would be open to fighting the recently-crowned champion, Francis Ngannou, but only if the UFC agrees to pay him handsomely.
Jones also explained how Ngannou is not a first-of-a-kind matchup for him. He claimed he would not "just stand there" like Stipe Miocic did.