Thiago Santos doesn’t view Jon Jones as an unstoppable force.
On July 6, Santos will challenge Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. This will be Jones’ second title defense in his current reign. As for “Marreta,” it’ll be his first title opportunity under the UFC banner. Jones vs. Santos headlines UFC 239 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ahead of the fight, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto sat down with Santos. The title challenger made it clear that he isn’t buying into Jones being unbeatable:
“I think everybody loses one day. Everybody gets knocked out one day and July 6 will be his day.”
Thiago Santos is known for his power and he didn’t shy away from saying that he will be looking to shut Jones’ lights off.
“Yes of course, this [is] my style. No problem, no problem. I’m prepared for five rounds no problem. Always, doesn’t matter. But I will try [to knock him out] first or second, third, doesn’t matter [which] round. I will try to do it.”
When asked about how his life would change if he were to defeat the widely regarded best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Santos wasn’t interested in putting his attention on it.
“I don’t think this now. My focus [is] just the fight. My focus, July 6 to do my best and win this fight and put the belt on my shoulder. I think [that’s] just it.”
Thiago Santos is riding a four-fight winning streak. In that span he’s defeated Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa, Eryk Anders, and Kevin Holland. “Marreta” finished three of the four opponents. Jones has gone 15-0, 1 NC since suffering a controversial disqualification loss to Matt Hamill back in 2009. UFC president Dana White is looking into getting that defeat overturned.
Do you think Santos can pull of a historic upset at UFC 239?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/27/2019.