UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was playing around on social media on Wednesday, teasing fans with the prospect of a superfight between him and former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
Jones, as it turns out, is fighting in July, but just not against Miocic. UFC president Dana White confirmed to Yahoo Sports the news first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, that Jones will face Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC 239 to conclude International Fight Week at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
White said the co-main event will be a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and former champion Holly Holm. White said only Nunes’ bantamweight belt, and not the featherweight crown she lifted from Cris “Cyborg” Justino at UFC 232 in December, will be at stake.
Jones said after defeating Anthony Smith at UFC 235 that he wanted to fight once a quarter and he’s sticking to that plan essentially. He won the light heavyweight title in a third-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in December, then defeated Smith by unanimous decision on March 6 at UFC 235.
White said he loves the fight because Santos has looked much better since moving up to light heavyweight from middleweight, and he believes Jones rises to the level of his opposition.
“When he fought Ovince Saint Preux, a lot of people were just like, ‘Ehh,'” White said. “But then he goes out the next time against [Daniel] Cormier and he looks incredible and stops him. I think this is a fight that will bring out the best of him.”
White said he believes Nunes should be crowned the GOAT of women’s MMA if she defeats Holm, who famously won the title from Ronda Rousey in 2015.
“I think you could make a very good argument for her right now that she already is [the women’s GOAT],” White said. “But if she beats Holly, there would be no doubt. There’s a lot of great women at that weight and she’s beaten them all but Holly.”
White confirmed that ex-welterweight champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler will meet in a rematch of their 2016 title bout at UFC 201 when they face off June 29 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. He also said he was making a welterweight bout between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal. That fight is targeted for UFC 238 in Chicago, but has not yet been finalized.
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