Eryk Anders has battled Thiago Santos in the Octagon before, and knows how dangerous “Marreta” can be. But, it doesn’t sound like Anders believes the light-heavyweight crown will be changing hands at UFC 239.
Recently it was reported that Jones and Santos have verbally agreed to fight at the July 6th card, which will take place in Las Vegas. Santos has been awarded the opportunity, after winning four straight fights, one of which, was against Anders last September. Most recently the feared striker took out top contender, Jan Blachowicz.
Well, since Jones – Santos was reported, Anders spoke with John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock. Not surprisingly, Anders was asked to weigh-in on the upcoming scrap between Jones and Santos. Here’s some of what he had to say (quotes via Bloody Elbow).
“He’s [Santos] a wild card, man,” Anders said. “He throws a lot of crazy stuff, he does the capoeira stuff. But I think that Jon Jones, he doesn’t let anyone get started. As soon as they start to find a rhythm and a groove, he throws like a teep kick or one of those oblique kicks and he totally disrupts your timing. He’s super long and athletic, he can wrestle which I think is Thiago’s weak spot, he gets taken down pretty easy. Jon Jones got submissions, he can wrestle, he can strike, he figures people out pretty quickly.”
“[But] once again, four-ounce gloves, a knockout is always looming. But we haven’t seen anybody get close to hitting Jon Jones except for Gustafsson in his first fight. And Jon Jones was out partying and having a good time before the fight. I think now he’s a little more focused and honing in on his craft. He’s probably going to retire as the greatest of all time.”
There’s no question that Santos is ridiculously dangerous, but with Jones, we’re talking about one of the most complete, athletic and talented fighters the game has ever known. If not the most…
So, chances are a lot of folks are on the same page here as Anders. Leading up to UFC 235, it was justifiably noted how dangerous Anthony Smith is. “Lionheart” has one of the highest finishing rates in the sport. But, Jones negated the vast majority of Smith’s attacks and never appeared to be in any serious danger.
As far as Anders, following his split-decision loss to Elias Theodorou in December, he’s booked to fight Khalil Rountree at UFC 236, April 13th. That should be a great fight.