The eyes of the world will be on the “city that never sleeps” once again as the greatest Light Heavyweight of all time Jon Jones makes his walk inside the octagon to defend his title for the third time in last 8 months against the fearsome knockout challenger, Thiago Santos.
The co-main event is set for the highly anticipated Bantamweight title fight between the most dominant women’s Champion Amanda Nunes and the “queen of upsets” Holly Holm.
LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY: Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos
Rd 1 – Both fighters are in the orthodox stances. Jones forces Santos to the outside. Jones is flat footed and in the wide stance. He immediately starts firing all sorts of leg kicks. Santos reacts and starts moving more. He fires a big leg kick and nearly drops Jones! Great move by Santos. Both fighters are confident early in the fight. Santos is looking to time the big right hand. Nice leg kick interrupts the timing of Santos. Jones is walking Santos down. However, Santos remains calm and he lands another inside leg kick. Santos goes high with the kick but he is out of range. He follows with another leg kick. Jones catches the next kick of Santos but fails to score a single leg takedown. Santos is displaying strong wrestling defense. Jones is trying to read Santos and time his shots. Halfway in, Jones goes high with the kick, Santos moves away and explodes with a two-punch combo! Jones displays good footwork and moves away. Jones resets but Santos explodes and connects with a big left straight! Jones loses his mouthpiece and the referee stops the fight. The fight continues. Jones continues with the forward pressure. He fires a leg kick but eats right hand from Santos! Santos charges forward and lands a left hook! Santos is fighting a smart fight! His timing on the counter punches is perfect so far. Jones is looking nervous. Jones has a hard time closing the distance without taking damage. Hard leg kick lands for Jones! Both fighters are relaxed and confident. Santos is bouncing on his feet as Jones closes the distance with the roundhouse kick.
Rd 2 – Jones immediately takes the center and continues with the forward pressure. Santos opens the round with a couple of kicks. However, there is something wrong with his right knee! Antos reacts to that by exploding with the punches! Santos is swinging like a mad man! Jones is escaping and covering himself well! Santos backs off. It seems like he is fine. Jones fires an inside leg kick and lands. Jones is patient; he is waiting for the perfect opportunity. Santos is moving near the fence, Jones is putting strong pressure on him. Santos has a hard time timing his punches. Jones is targeting his lead leg which is obviously hurt. Jones clearly respects the power of Santos, he is not willing to pull the trigger. Stiff jab lands for Jones but Santos responds with a powerful middle kick. Santos is still dangerous. Halfway in, big high kick lands for Jones! Santos goes down but he is right back on his feet. Santos clearly has a problem with his knee. Jones is targeting his leg. He is slowly picking Santos apart from the outside. Santos steps into the range and lands a left hook to the body. Nice move by Santos. He explodes once again and lands a big left hand! Jones resets but Santos fires a head kick and partially lands! Jones is taking the shots well. It looks like Jones wants from Santos to punch himself out. Jones starts working the body of Santos with the front kicks. Both fighters are missing with the kicks. Santos is light on his feet; he charges forward once again but fails to connect with anything significant.
Rd 3 – Jones takes the center. Santos throws a spinning kick to the body and misses. Jones remains patient. Santos is trying to keep his distance with the leg kicks. Santos goes high with the kick once again and partially lands! Jones shakes his head like not has happened and continues to work with his kicks. Another middle kick lands for Santos! Santos is looking sharp! Jones is hesitating much. Santos is moving well, he is looking very unpredictable He explodes and lands a left hand. Santos steps in once again but eats a nasty elbow and goes down! Santos explodes back to his feet but he is rocked. Flying knee attempt from jones just missed! Both fighters are standing in each other’s face. Halfway in, Jones starts punishing the lead leg of Santos. However, Santos responds with a big leg kick! He goes high with the kick once again, blocked by Jones! Santos is fighting smart; the fight is equal so far. Jones fires a high kick and lands! Santos is clearly slowing down. Another high kick partially lands for Jones! He is clearly finding his rhythm. Santos is trying to respond but he is missing with the punches. Big side kick to the body lands for Jones! Santos wakes up and lands an inside leg kick. Jones continues with strong pressure. Jones explodes with the spinning elbow as the round ends!
Rd 4 – They are back in the center. Both fighters are flat-footed. Santos opens the round with a leg kick. He follows the attack with a big left hand and lands! Santos is very aggressive in this fight. Jones survives an early storm and resets. Nice spinning kick to the body lands for Jones. Santos is trying to push jones away with the jab. Jones goes high with the spinning head kick! Santos does a great job defending and moves away. Both fighters are respecting each other. Santos is looking to attack with the counter. Both fighters exchange leg kicks. Santos is missing a lot of punches, he is constantly out of range. However, he has a lot of success with the kicks so far. Halfway in, big uppercut partially lands for Jones! Powerful leg kick lands for Jones! Another one! Both fighters are clearly slowing down. Jones is destroying the lead leg of Santos. Santos has a hard time offering any offense. He is switching up his stances in order to avoid more damage to his lead leg. Jones keeps his composure. Now Santos lands a big inside leg kick. Jones connects with a double jab! Nice move by Jones. Santos fires a leg kick and it is clear that he has a lot of problems with the right leg.
Rd 5 – Jones immediately takes the center and continues with the pressure. Santos moves in and scores with a big kick to the body! Santos is showing a big heart! He connects with a nice right hand as Jones takes the outside position. Santos sticks with the kicks. Jones starts faking the takedowns. He is throwing a lot of faints. Santos fires a huge overhand left, just misses! Jones is displaying good head movement. Big straight left lands for Santos! Another one lands for Santos! He is very aggressive and confident! Jones is not returning anything! Now he starts working with the kicks. Big side kick to the middle section lands for Jones. Santos is in all sorts of pain. Halfway in, Santos can’t stay on his right leg. He fires two powerful hooks but Jones escapes. Jones is very passive in this round. He is constantly throwing faints but not willing to pull the trigger. Santos charges forward with the barrage of punches but fails to connect! He is a more active fighter and still pushing for a knockout blow!