LAS VEGAS — The greatest male and female mixed martial artists in the world retained their respective titles — albeit in vastly different ways — while another fighter stole the show with a record-breaking knockout in front of 18,358 fans at UFC 239 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.Jon Jones decided to play with fire against 7-to-1 underdog Thiago Santos and nearly saw his UFC light heavyweight title go to the challenger when he escaped with a split decision victory. Jones deployed a peculiar strategy that saw him stay away from his strengths in an effort to beat Santos at his own game of striking. He never once attempted a takedown and refused to attack the Brazilian’s damaged leg. But Santos proved to be far more dangerous than Jones anticipated. Jones, the man widely recognized as the greatest mixed martial artists to ever live, has always enjoyed playing into his opponents strengths to embarass them. However, Santos’ esteemed striking and ability to remain technically sound under pressure may have caught the champion off guard. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe opening round saw Santos aggressively fight off Jones’ advances as the champion sought to close the distance. Jones chopped at the leg and cut loose shots to the body in an effort to take the steam out of Santos’ attack. As the rounds progressed, Santos wore down from the leg kicks while his gas tank seemingly betrayed him. Jones managed to drop Santos on two occasions. A short elbow in the third round sent Santos to the canvas, but Jones was unable to finish the job. A head kick in the fourth nearly put the former middleweight away. But, again, Santos refused to stay down and fought back. It appeared that Jones could have finished the job at any point with a simple takedown or cranking up the pressure on the leg kicks, but Jones proved to be stubborn and ended up narrowly escaping with two scores of 48-47, while a third judge gave the fight to Santos with a score of 48-47. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes polished off the last of the women who have held the UFC women’s bantamweight title as she knocked out Holly Holm in the first round of their championship tilt. The highly anticipated showdown between the two women who stopped Ronda Rousey was a tentative affair early on as Holm and Nunes feinted in an effort to force the other to make a mistake. Surprisingly, it would be Holm who would blink and Nunes unleashed a hellacious head kick that sank Holm. A follow-up right hand put the exclamation point on the fight as “The Lioness” has now effectively cleaned out the division and staked her claim as the greatest woman to ever compete in mixed martial arts. But the highlight of the night went to Jorge Masvidal, who entered his blood feud with Ben Askren looking to shut the mouth of the undefeated fighter they call “Funky.”Everyone expected it to be a showdown between a highly decorated wrestler and an exceptional striker. However, few could have possibly predicted how the fight would play out. Two seconds into the fight, Askren shot for Masvidal’s legs and was met with a brutal flying knee that turned the lights out on the former Olympian. If it weren’t for the referee being in shock, the official time would have been less than the record five-second knockout that Masvidal recorded. Nevertheless, the UFC record for fastest knockout was broken against a man who had never lost in MMA. A stunning finish that will likely set up Masvidal for a future title opportunity. (All times Eastern.)UFC 239 live updates, resultsJon Jones retains with narrow split decision victory over Thiago Santos12:48 a.m.: The boos fill up the arena as the scores are read 48-47, 48-47 and 47-48 to give Jones a split decision. Jones controlled the Octagon, but allowed Santos to hang around while his stubborness to beat Santos at his own game nearly cost him his title. The fans aren’t pleased, but Jon Jones is still your UFC light heavyweight champion. Round 5 (12:42 a.m.): It’s obvious that Jones is trying to beat Santos at his own game by scoring a knockout. He refuses to attack Santos’ weaknesses and tried to find a single shot to end the fight. He didn’t and actually gave the final round away. He should retain, but this is a dangerous game to play when the decision is up to the judges. Let’s see what they have to say … Round 4 (12:36 a.m.): Jones has been looking for the knockout, but can’t seem to find an opening. You have to wonder if judges will find a few rounds to give Santos to make this interesting. Santos is on a bad wheel and unable to move, but Jones hasn’t sought a takedown or chopped at the leg. Still in control. 10-9 Jones.Round 3 (12:29 a.m.): Santos had success until he ran into a short elbow that nearly put him out. Santos ate a few head kicks and was chopped down. Jones barely misses a flying knee but it’s clear that Santos is wounded and desperate. 10-9 Jones. Round 2 (12:23 a.m.): Jones landed a huge head kick that dropped Santos, but Santos refused to wilt, popped back up and continued the fight. Santos did well with striking, but Jones is looking to wear him down. 10-9 JonesRound 1 (12:16 a.m.): A closer round than many would have expected. Santos landed several leg kicks and a two-punch combination, but Jones was the aggressor and controls the distance with the oblique kick. A spinning roundhouse at the end may have given Jones the round. 10-9 Jones. 12:00 a.m.: A trio of vicious knockouts have had us on the edge of our seats and now we have one last fight to go as Jon Jones will defend his UFC light heavyweight championship against the heavy-handed Thiago Santos. Will we get one more exciting finish?Amanda Nunes retains title with wicked head kick knockout of Holly HolmRound 1 (11:45 p.m.): For the first four minutes, it was a high energy game of feints and counters. Holm and Nunes danced a dangerous dance as Holm waited for Nunes’ aggression to get the best of her. Instead, a feint by Nunes caused just a small bit of hesitation from Holm, which caused her to drop her hand. Nunes immediately launched a head kick that connected with Holm flush and sent her careening to the canvas. A vicious right hand soon followed and it was all over at the 4:10 mark. Is there any doubt who the best female fighter in the world is? Nunes has staked her claim as the GOAT. Unbelievable. What is going on at #UFC239 tonight?!Amanda Nunes with the KO on Holly Holm in Round 1!pic.twitter.com/4Pue0axUf8— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) July 7, 2019 11:30 p.m.: The arena is still buzzing from Masvidal’s stunning knockout, but it is time for the co-main event as Amanda Nunes looks to defend her UFC women’s bantamweight title against Holly Holm. Should Holm win, she’ll be the first two-time champion in UFC women’s history. But if Nunes wins, she will have knocked off every woman who has held the title in her weight class. Jorge Masvidal scores fastest knockout in UFC history with brutal flying knee against Ben Askren11:20 p.m.: All it took was five seconds. Ben Askren came into this fight undefeated and sought to prove he was one of the best fighters in the world. Masvidal knew exactly what the Olympic wrestler wanted to do and launched a flying knee as soon as the fight started. The knee connected and Askren was out. If the referee had got in there sooner, the finish would have been in just two seconds. An absolutely unreal finish that will certainly thrust Masvidal into title contention. 11:09 p.m.: Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal will end what has escalated into a blood feud over the past few months. Askren remains undefeated and is looking to inch closer to a title shot while Masvidal is also closing in a title opportunity. It’s obvious that these two don’t like each other, but who will see their hand raised in victory?Jan Blachowicz obliterates Luke Rockhold with brutal second-round KO11:01 p.m.: A left hook from Jan Blachowicz completely short-circuited Luke Rockhold in the second round and proved that Rockhold may not quite be fit for 205 pounds. Rockhold had an impressive first round where he mixed his striking and his wrestling. But there was a kick that landed at the end of the first round that clearly hurt Rockhold. Without being fully recovered, Rockhold tried to go after Blachowicz in the opening minute of the second frame. That proved to be bad for business considering that Rockhold was at a clear strength disadvantage and found himself on the wrong end of an absolutely brutal short left hook. Time of stopage was 1:39. JAN BLACHOWICZ!!!! #UFC239 pic.twitter.com/d6Rx1KpsGT— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2019 10:45 p.m.: Up next is Luke Rockhold making his debut as a light heavyweight against Jan Blachowicz. An impressive win here for Rockhold could fast track him to a title shot against Jon Jones. Being Daniel Cormier’s teammate and the lack of contenders at 205 gives a Jones-Rockhold an interesting narrative. But first, he must take care of business against Blachowicz. Michael Chiesa outworks Diego Sanchez for unanimous decision10:40 p.m.: This fight was all Chiesa from the opening bell as the bigger, younger and stronger fighter was simply too much for the aging veteran. But Sanchez managed to not get stopped or submitted and will certainly live to fight another day. Chiesa’s grappling was excellent as he neutralized everything that Sanchez tried to offer. For what it’s worth, Sanchez proved to be a slippery veteran and found escape routes whenever Chiesa threatened to submit him. Nevertheless, the 30-26 scores were justified as Chiesa seeks a top 10 opponent. 10:30 p.m.: After two rounds, Michael Chiesa is beating up Diego Sanchez. But it’s far different than the Melendez-Arnold fight earlier when Melendez was nothing but a shell of himself. Sanchez is fighting with a ton of heart and cardio. On more than one occassion, Sanchez looked like he was going to get choked out. But “The Dream” managed to escape as the crowd erupted. One round left in this one. 10:13 p.m.: It’s time to get started with the PPV portion of UFC 239 as Michael Chiesa and Diego Sanchez prepare for a battle of “The Ultimate Fighter” winners. Sanchez won season one while Chiesa was the victor in season 15. Sanchez recently left Jackson Wink and has been bouncing around. He’s being cornered by one man tonight rather than the usual team that accompanies a fighter to the cage. All of this is intriguing. 9:58 p.m.: Arnold Allen beat Gilbert Melendez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27), but the real story was how bad “El Nino” looked in this three-round affair. He was sluggish, unable to land anything of significance and it’s time we wonder if Melendez should consider calling it a career. This will be his fifth consecutive loss in the UFC. For what it’s worth, he managed to survive, but it’s dangerous for him to keep trotting out there and putting himself at risk. 9:32 p.m.: It appears that Nate Diaz has immediately found himself in a bit of a skirmish. Shortly after taking his seat, a dustup happened that appeared to be with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was seated just a few feet from Diaz. It didn’t take long for security to get involved and put a halt to it before matters escalated. Both Diaz and Nurmagomedov are no longer cageside. Security moved Nate Diaz to sit somewhere else. He almost started a brawl with Khabib. Their seats were in the same row, couple seats apart. Diaz actually left his seat and tried to get around and wanted to start a fight. #UFC239— Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) July 7, 2019 9:27 p.m.: We’ve got one more preliminary fight left before the main card as Gilbert Melendez returns to the Octagon for the first time in nearly two years to face Arnold Allen. Melendez hasn’t won a fight in nearly six years and is 1-5 since joining the UFC in 2013. The former Strikeforce lightweight champion isn’t getting an easy out as the 37-year-old has dialed up an opponent on an 8-fight winning streak. 9:18 p.m.: The arrival of Nate Diaz at UFC 239 coincidentally led to Marlon Vera turning up the pressure and submitting Hernandez in the second round. After a first frame saw Hernandez escape an armbar attempt and land some ground and pound, the second frame seemed to be more methodical. And then, all of a sudden, Nate Diaz appeared in the arena. Once he took his seat, Vera fired off a flying knee that connected, fell into mount, transitioned to Hernandez’ back and sunk in a rear naked choke to get the tapout. That’s four in a row for Vera. 9:02 p.m.: Marlon Vera is up next and looking to extend his winning streak to four when he faces Nohelin Hernandez in a bantamweight tilt. The arena is still filling up as we get closer to the PPV portion of the card. 8:54 p.m.: After a pair of first-round finishes, the crowd wasn’t here for the tactical standup battle between Markos and Gadelha. Nevertheless, Gadelha got herself back into the win column with a 30-27 sweep of Markos. It wasn’t an action bout and the crowd let them have it. Gadelha switching camps certainly had something to do with it, but improved conditioning and poise were certainly on display. 8:26 p.m.: Business is picking up as Claudia Gadelha finds herself at the crossroads when she faces Randa Markos. Gadelha has gone 3-2 since losing to Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC women’s strawweight title almost exactly three years ago to the date. After a loss to Nina Ansaroff, Gadelha absolutely must beat Markos — who is coming off of a submission victory over Angela Hill back in March. For Markos, a win here will thrust her into title contention. 8:15 p.m.: Yadong Song set Perez’ soul on fire with a blistering straight left hand that sent his opponent on the highway to hell. Absolutely brutal first round knockout and the formal announcement that Song has arrived. Another 21-year-old looking to make noise. The right hand puts Perez away in the FIRST ROUND!Wow! #UFC239 pic.twitter.com/bbnxvMBpYI— UFC (@ufc) July 7, 2019 8:04 p.m.: The ESPN prelims are kicking off with bantamweight action when Alejandro Perez looks to hand Yadong Song his first defeat of his mixed martial arts career. Song enters the Octagon to Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting” and that gets a rise out of the crowd. 7:40 p.m.: Well, that didn’t take long. Shahbazyan wasted little time taking Marshman down, unleashing some ground and pound, taking Marshman’s back and finishing him off with a rear-naked choke. Shahbazyan is only 21, but has been a decisive finisher during his short time as a mixed martial artist. Certainly, one to watch. 7:30 p.m.: Welcome to Sporting News’ live coverage of UFC 239. We’ve already had a significant upset as Chance Rencountre stunned Ismail Naurdiev to win a unanimous decision despite being a 4-to-1 underdog. Also, Julia Avila pulled off a clean sweep on the scorecards against Pannie Kianzad. Up next, Edmen Shahbazyan and Jack Marshman close out the UFC Fight Pass prelims with a middleweight tilt. UFC 239 fight cardWinners in boldMain CardLight Heavyweight Jon Jones (c) vs. Thiago Santos for Jones’ light heavyweight titleWomen’s Bantamweight Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Holly Holm for Nunes’ women’s bantamweight title Welterweight Jorge Masvidal vs. Ben AskrenLight Heavyweight Luke Rockhold vs. Jan BłachowiczWelterweight Diego Sanchez vs. Michael ChiesaPreliminary card (ESPN)Featherweight Gilbert Melendez vs. Arnold AllenBantamweight Marlon Vera vs. Nohelin HernandezWomen’s Strawweight Cláudia Gadelha vs. Randa MarkosBantamweight Alejandro Pérez vs. Yadong SongEarly Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass)Middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Jack MarshmanWelterweight Ismail Naurdiev vs. Chance RencountreWomen’s Bantamweight Julia Avila vs. Pannie Kianzad UFC 239 latest newsIf Jon Jones can stay out of trouble and keep winning, it’s likely we’ll forget about his turbulent past. Make no mistake, Amanda Nunes is already the greatest women’s mixed martial artist who has ever lived. E Spencer Kyte explains why here.Holly Holm is in a must-win situation against Amanda Nunes or else she will be the MMA version of Buster Douglas. Nothing has changed much for Ben Askren aside from getting new fans and having an opponent that he plans on beating up at UFC 239.