Before I sat down to write this opinion piece, I had some trouble coming up with the right words to describe the event that was Saturday’s UFC 239 pay-per-view.
Let me tell you, if you didn’t watch the pay-per-view over the weekend, I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you that you missed out on what was, to date, the best MMA card of the 2019 calendar year.
This event will serve as the measuring stick for all future mixed martial arts events across all promotions worldwide for the rest of the year.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m still at a loss for words about how to describe the card as I write this article, nearly 24 hours after it happened.
Let me give it a try.
UFC 239 on Saturday night can be described in a single word:
The highlight of the 2019 International Fight Week for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC 239 was headlined by a championship doubleheader.
In the co-main event of the evening, Amanda Nunes successfully defended her Women’s Bantamweight title with a first-round knockout via a head kick delivered to Holly Holm.
The main event of UFC 239 was, in short, a war. Jon Jones remained UFC Light Heavyweight champion with a split decision victory against challenger Thiago Santos.
Both fighters were worn down by the battle and after the main event ended, as Jones and Santos exited in wheelchairs.
In my opinion, the biggest highlight of UFC 239 came in the Welterweight contest between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal.
As soon as the fight began, Masvidal attacked with a flying knee, knocking out Askren in the process. For his efforts, Masvidal was one of five fighters to score the Performance of the Night bonus of $50,000 on Saturday.
Total time of the match: Five seconds.
With that knockout, Jorge Masvidal now owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotional record for the quickest such victory in history, besting the previous high mark set by Dwayne Ludwig during UFC Fight Night 3 against Jonathan Goulet on Jan. 16, 2006, also in a Welterweight fight.
Ben Askren weighed in on Twitter after the fight, simply posting this:
Well that sucked
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) July 7, 2019
The good news is that UFC president Dana White confirmed at the post-fight press conference that Askren’s medical tests following the contest proved to be negative.
At the core, this past weekend’s UFC 239 will be not only a pay-per-view event that will long be remembered, but also an MMA card that will be hard to top.
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