Jon Jones has shared his thoughts about the harsh reception he received from the crowd during his UFC 239 title fight against Thiago Santos.
Going into his second title defence during his current reign, Jones marched as the heavy favourite to win the main event bout.
But unlike his previous fights, where he dominated his opponents with authority, Jones showed some vulnerability and almost put himself on the brink of defeat.
Santos had some big moments, despite fighting with a busted knee, to stretch the fight to five rounds.
After the final bell, it was still Jones who came out with a win as he escaped the Brazilian fighter with a narrow victory.
Two judges scored 48-47 in favour of Jones to retain his light heavyweight title via split decision.
Interestingly, it was the first split decision win in Jones’ career.
The results, though, sparked debate in the MMA community, with some fans claiming that the victory should have gone Santos’ way.
Jon Jones split decision victory over Thiago Santos has turned into a debate, as many fans believe Santos did enough to take the win… What are your thoughts on the fight? 🤔@JonnyBones @TMarretaMMA #UFC239 pic.twitter.com/BU6nBVziP1
— PlanetMMA.com (@ThePlanetMMA) July 7, 2019
Jones Lauded Santos’ Power
In the post-fight press conference, the pound-for-pound king sang praises for the heavy-hitting Brazilian, who displayed his great stand up game against Jones.
“He was extremely powerful,” the light heavyweight champ said, per MMA Fighting.
“His kicks were powerful, his punches were powerful, and I wanted to play a smart game.”
“It probably would have been a lot smarter to get him to the ground and test him there, but I felt like I was winning at what he was absolutely best at.”
“I feel like his team had him optimally prepared. His cardio was great, his punches and kicks were great, and I felt like that was his best and I found a way to win on the feet at what he’s absolute best at.”
But if a rematch with ‘Marreta’ comes to light, Jones said he needs to make the necessary adjustments.
“In a rematch, if that were to happen, obviously I need to make some adjustments and make smarter choices, maybe attack him where he’s a little weaker, but I am proud because his kickboxing and his standup are what he’s known for.”
🗣 Dana White: "Anybody who scores that fight for Santos is out of their mind."
He also stated Jon Jones controlled the whole fight vs. Thiago Santos at #UFC239 and that there will not be a rematch.
Was he watching another fight? pic.twitter.com/fxFnnq3NsX
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) July 7, 2019
Fans Were Not Happy
Jones also commented on the reaction of the T-mobile Arena crowd, who believed that the main event fight turned into a snooze fest.
Though Jones cannot control the fans’ emotions, he said that the crowd could not also dictate his actions.
“It doesn’t feel good to be booed, but not many people know what it feels like to be in there.”
“Not many people know what it feels like to be in there and I can’t allow them to make decisions for me.”
“It would be disrespectful to my coaches. It would be disrespectful to my gift, to myself, no way.”
“I feel like that’s a very rookie move to start switching up your strategy because someone’s booing you.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 7, 2019
(Featured Image Source: UFC/Youtube)