UFC 239 only has one fight announced for it with the light heavyweight debut of former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold taking on Jan Blachowicz. That was the only bout announced… Until Wednesday afternoon.
ESPN has confirmed that UFC 239 will host two big-time title fights on July 6 in the light heavyweight and bantamweight divisions. Meaning the champion, Jon Jones (24-1) will face Brazil’s dangerous “Marreta,” Thiago Santos (21-6).
As for the bantamweight title, it’s currently being held by “The Lioness” Amanda Nunes (17-4) who also holds the 145-pound featherweight title. The first and only women’s dual-division champion will look to get her fourth bantamweight title defense when she takes on the former champion, Holly Holm (12-4) in the co-main event.
Jones and Nunes both fought together at UFC 232 in December 2018 when Jones regained his title in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson while Nunes would shock the world by knocking out Cris “Cyborg” Justino in just around 50 seconds.
For Jones’ challenger in Santos, since moving up to light heavyweight he’s continued to look more dangerous than ever. With three straight wins ending in a
“The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm will now be headed towards her fifth career title fight. She is 1-3 in her previous four. Two of which came at bantamweight with the other two at featherweight.
Holm’s last bantamweight fight took place in June 2017 when she knocked out Bethe Correia with a head kick in round three of their UFC Singapore main event. Since then Holm has gone 1-1 in featherweight bouts with her most recent coming in the form of a win over Megan Anderson at UFC 225 in June 2018. She was originally booked to face Aspen Ladd at UFC 235 earlier this month until contract negotiations fizzled the fight out.
Which fight are you most looking forward to out of the pair of title bouts to headline International Fight Week?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/27/2019