UFC 239 Betting Preview And Free Picks

UFC 239: Jones vs Santos
Saturday, July 6 - 10:00pm EST
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV

The UFC returns to action this Saturday with UFC 239 in Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena. Two title belts will be on the line on Saturday. In the main event, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones will take on Thiago "Marreta" Santos. Amanda "The Lioness" Nunes (17-4) will look to defend her Women's Bantamweight title against former champion Holly "The Preacher's Daughter" Holm (12-4).

Diego Sanchez (31-11) and Michael Chiesa will kick off the main card. Sanchez will be making his 43rd walk to the cage on Saturday. Sanchez is coming off a Performance of the Night win over Mickey Gall after knocking out the welterweight in the second round. Chiesa bounced back from back-to-back losses to score a submission win over Carlos Condit.

Despite the gap in experience, Chiesa is the smarter fighter. He is calculated and disciplined. He won't be lured into a brawl he can't win. Chiesa (-350) will look to take the fight to the ground where his grappling will reign supreme.

Luke Rockhold (16-4) makes his light heavyweight debut against Jan Blachowicz (23-8). Rockhold, a former UFC Middleweight Champion was massive at 185 lbs. He'll hold a one inch height advantage over Blachowicz when they're toe-to-toe.

This will be Rockhold's first fight back since defeating David Branch in September 2017. Blachowicz is five months removed from a starching he received at the hands of Thiago Santos.
Ring rust is real. So is the feeling of fighting someone your own size. Rockhold trains with killers at American Kickboxing Academy. That camp is full of champs and former champs, including Rockhold himself. This will be a big step up in competition for Jan Blachowicz. If the odds were any better, I'd ride with the underdog, but at -180 Rockhold is still the favorable bet despite what he's up against.

There's a huge welterweight fight with title implications at UFC 239. Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal (33-13) takes on Ben "Funky" Askren (19-0) in the third fight on the card. Both fighters are riding a wave right now.

After losing two consecutive decisions, Masvidal went to England and knocked out the hometown fighter, Darren Till. Till was a fight removed from his title bout with Tyron Woodley and looking to make his way back into contention when he was knocked out by Masvidal. Gamebred earned two W's that night, after stopping mid-interview to serve Leon Edwards a two piece and a biscuit.

Funky has made a splash since joining the UFC. He's clever on the mic and can back it up in the cage. Askren, the former Bellator and ONE FC Welterweight Champion is undefeated in his MMA career. He submitted Robbie Lawler with a bulldog choke in his UFC debut back in March.
Askren will be too much for the inconsistent Masvidal who has a habit of dimming when the spotlight is too bright. Askren is a solid bet at -260.

Amanda Nunes (17-4) will add another former champion to her list at UFC 239. Nunes is a beast. She has beaten a who's who in the women's bantamweight division. The Lioness' quick disposal of the most feared woman in MMA history put her in a comfortable spot atop the women's GOAT conversation. It took only 51 seconds for Nunes to knock out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232.

Holly Holm (12-4) is a great striker with legit boxing and kickboxing credentials. She's a former champion with some quality wins on her resume, including the show she put on against Ronda Rousey (#shediditfirst).

Holm, however, has shown vulnerability against elite strikers at times. She struggled versus Shevchenko and De Randamie as well as Cyborg. Nunes is more precise with her punches and hits with serious power. Holm is no slouch, but if she doesn't find a way to slow Nunes' pace and disrupt her rhythm, she's in for a long night. Amanda Nunes -375 is my pick for the fight.

Here's my problem with the UFC Light Heavyweight division: The disparity in talent between Jon Jones (24-1-0, 1 NC), Daniel Cormier and the rest of the division is too grand. The contenders fight their way to the top of the ladder and build respectable records and a decent win streak (sometimes). The problem is, none of them are ever ready to even compete with the champion. The old guard has fallen off (Gustafsson, Latifi, Teixeira, Shogun) and the new guard just isn't there (Santos, Smith, Reyes, Blachowicz, Walker).

It goes to show just how amazing Jon Jones is. What was once a competitive division has turned into a two-horse race, with one of the horses no longer in the division. I mean this as no disrespect to Thiago Santos (21-6) or the rest of the UFC Light Heavyweight division. Jon Jones is just a smarter, more skilled fighter. He's well rounded and knows how to leverage his advantages in his favor. Jon Jones -600 is the only bet to make.