Jon Jones remains the UFC’s light-heavyweight champ, but according to one judge, and other observers, that shouldn’t be the case. Well, if you’re one of those folks, you may be interested (and then annoyed) to see Dana White’s take.
Jones faced Thiago Santos in the headliner for UFC 239, and somewhat surprisingly, he elected to stand and trade with the feared striker. The fight was a competitive affair, but after five rounds, Jones emerged with the title via a split decision win.
“Anybody who scores that fight for Santos is out of their mind. You should never judge another fight if you judged Santos (as the winner). Santos fought tough, he’s a tough guy. Something happened to his leg or his knee in the second round and he fought through it and he was tough. But he lost that fight.”
“It wasn’t a two-and-a-half-second flying knee knockout, it wasn’t knocking out someone who hasn’t been knocked out in MMA before and things like that. But he went out and he won the fight.
“It’s not a crowd-pleaser, it’s not one of those wins that has everybody jumping up and down for joy, but he won the fight. Against a really tough guy who came to fight and came to win.”
There you have it? Are you one of the folks then who are apparently “out of their mind”? To say someone should “never judge” again is, of course, a wee bit harsh. But hyperbolic commentary from White isn’t exactly new.
The judge who scored the bout for Santos was Junichiro Kamijo, who gave rounds 1,2 and 4 to Santos. Judge Mike Bell gave Jones rounds 2 through 4, and judge Derek Cleary had Jones winning rounds 2, 3 and 5. So, even amongst the judges who scored the fight for Jones, there was disagreement over which rounds he won. In fact, the only round that Kamijo was the only judge to score it for Santos was round two.
Overall, Jones landed 59 significant strikes in the contest while Santos scored with 43.
It was a competitive fight, and you have to wonder how things would have unfolded, if Santos hadn’t injured his knee/leg so early in the contest.
All this aside, it’s going to be interesting to see what comes next for Jones. Don’t be surprised if it’s the winner of Daniel Cormier – Stipe Miocic 2.