Among all of Jon Jones’ challengers, Thiago Santos was the one who came closest to dethroning the champion. “Marreta” fell short on the judges’ scorecards, losing a split decision verdict at UFC 239 in July.
With the belief he’d won rounds 1, 2, and 5, Santos has since been calling for a rematch. And if it does happen, his coach “Tata” Duarte is expecting a way better performance from “Bones.”
“Jon Jones will fight in the end of the year, and he will probably win,” Duarte told MMA Fighting. “I don’t see anyone in the division giving Jon Jones any difficulties other than Thiago. (Jones) saw what happened (against Santos), and I think he won’t come so reckless.”
Duarte himself is pushing for a part two against Jones, which he wants to happen in March of the coming year.
“Our goal is to return against Jon Jones,” he said. “Thiago is fueled by challenges, he had that bitter taste in his mouth, and this rematch would be the fair thing to do.
“We’ll be back by March – that’s our goal – and we’ll be ready. Ready, motivated, happy, and with a different result this time.”
Jones has so far been successful in the two rematches he’s had in his entire career. He was able to finish Daniel Cormier in their second fight in July 2017, which was overturned to a No Contest due to a failed drug test. In December 2018, he was able to stop Alexander Gustafsson via third round TKO, which ultimately reinstated him as the UFC light heavyweight champion.