Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is making up for lost time.
UFC President Dana White confirmed Jones will face Brazilian knockout artist Thiago Santos at UFC 239 on July 6th – International Fight Weekend – in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto below.
Breaking: Jon Jones, Thiago Santos and Amanda Nunes, Holly Holm title fights are verbally agreed to headline UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas. https://t.co/vcv5v3fH2L
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 27, 2019
Jones is not long coming off two dominant wins over foe Alexander Gustafsson and then Anthony Smith, making up for his lost time spent on the MMA sidelines.
The Santos fight will be his third Octagon outing in just seven months.
Meanwhile, Santos has shot to light heavyweight contendership following consecutive wins over Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa and Eryk Anders.
Formerly a middling middleweight, Brazil’s Santos appears to be right at home in the higher weightclass and possesses some serious punching power.
White publicly campaigned for the bout previously, though Jones did take to Twitter to tease a heavyweight dream fight with Stipe Miocic just hours before the report.
I don’t think you guys are ready to witness @stipemiocic and I, would July give you all enough time?
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) March 27, 2019
UFC 239 has another title fight booked. Two-weight women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her 135 lbs belt against former champion Holly Holm in the co-main event.
Nunes shocked the world last time out in the cage, handing Cris ‘Cyborg’ her first loss in 13-and-a-half years, knocking her compatriot out inside a minute.
Meanwhile, Holm’s last win was a comfortable decision against Australia’s Megan Anderson last year.