Thiago Santos gave Jon Jones his closest decision to date, but the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion still walked out of UFC 239 with the belt around his waist.
Jones scored a split decision over Santos Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Two judges awarded the fight to Jones, 48-47, with another giving it to the challenger.
In the co-main event, double champion Amanda Nunes knocked out Holly Holm to defend her bantamweight belt. Nunes now owns victories over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holm, all former champions in the UFC. Nunes claimed the featherweight title last year vs. Cyborg.
Ben Askren’s talk did not live up to the billing, as the former Bellator champion was knocked out in a record-breaking five seconds by Jorge Masvidal. The welterweights had plenty of words to say before the fight, but only Masvidal did any talking after.
Also on the main card, Jan Blachowicz finished ex-titleholder Luke Rockhold and Michael Chiesa claimed a decision victory over Diego Sanchez.
Complete results can be found below:
* Jon Jones def. Thiago Santos via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) to remain UFC light heavyweight champion
* Amanda Nunes def. Holly Holm via KO (head-kick) at 4:10 of Round 1 to remain UFC female bantamweight champion
* Jorge Masvidal def. Ben Askren via KO (flying knee) at :05 of Round 1
* Jan Blachowicz def. Luke Rockhold via KO (strike) at 1:39 of Round 2
* Michael Chiesa def. Diego Sanchez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
* Arnold Allen def. Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
* Marlon Vera def. Nohelin Hernandez via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:25 of Round 2
* Claudia Gadelha def. Randa Markos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
* Yadong Song def. Alejandro Perez via KO (strike) at 2:04 of Round 1
* Edmen Shahbazyan def. Jack Marshman via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:12 of Round 1
* Chance Rencountre def. Ismail Naurdiev via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)
* Julia Avila def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)