Thiago Santos’s greatest chance to defeat Jon Jones has been attributed to the Brazilian’s power he possesses. The 15 knockouts to his Santos’ name definitely doesn’t do much to harm that theory. But Jon Jones has been consistent in his lack of concern for Santos’ power, including likening Santos to his fianceé. Jones reiterated why Santos’ ballyhooed power is not giving him restless nights leading up to the UFC 239 main event in Las Vegas (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“Every UFC fighter I’ve ever fought has had the power to knock me out,” Jones told reporters at Open Workouts. “It’s about being skilled enough to land that punch. Thus far, no one’s been skilled enough to land that punch, and I don’t think anything is going to change on Saturday night.”
Thiago Santos has also appeared to have packed on some extra muscle for the fight of his life, and Jon Jones believes that this strategy will ultimately work to Santos’ detriment, not his benefit:
“MMA is an endurance sport, it’s a 25-minute endurance sport,” Jones said. “I believe in the first two rounds his muscles will work to his advantage. Anything after that, he’s carrying extra weight and I think it will ultimately work against him.
“I’m actually a lot lighter than I normally am (in fight week),” he continued. “My idea was I’m fighting a guy moving up from middleweight, so I don’t need to be any more powerful, or stronger, for this fight. I need to be able to move really well and have some serious endurance.
Though Jon Jones believes the 2nd round mark will be a crucial point in the fight, that does not mean he necessarily expects the fight to make it that long:
“So I believe if it goes anywhere past two rounds, the fight is definitely going to quickly move in my favor, but I also believe I can finish him in the first two rounds as well, so let’s just see how it all plays out.”
Do you believe Jon Jones vs. Thiago Santos goes the distance this Saturday night?