Jon Jones will defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC 247 on February 8, 2020, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Jones is the #1 ranked Pound for Pound fighter in the UFC today and is coming off a successful title defense against Thiago Santos at UFC 239. His challenger is the undefeated Dominick Reyes who has shot up in the rankings after consecutive wins over Ovince Saint Preux, Volkan Oezdemir, and Chris Weidman. In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko defends her UFC flyweight title against Katlyn Chookagian.

“Fighting" Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes

Jon Jones is a two-time and the current undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion. Known as Bones, the 32-year old is considered by some as the greatest Mixed Martial Artist of all-time. Jones is the youngest fighter ever to win a UFC belt. He is currently the #1 ranked pound for pound fighter in the promotion and holds several records in the 205-pound division, including most successful title defenses. He has never been stopped or outpointed with his only loss being a disqualification against Matt Hamill. Bones is 6-5 tall and has a massive 84-inch reach. His record is 25-1 with 10 knockouts and 6 submission wins.

Dominick Reyes is the 4th ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 30-year old B.S. Information Systems graduate stands 6-4 with a reach of 77 inches while fighting as a southpaw. Reyes has a record of 12-0 with seven knockouts and two wins by submission. He played collegiate football for Stony Brook University and is a two-time winner of Performance of the Night honors in the UFC. Reyes has defeated Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux, Volkan Oezdemir, and Chris Weidman in succession.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 02/07/20

Reyes does pose some threat to Jon Jones. But while critics say that Jones may be vulnerable after he had a tough time against Thiago Santos, Santos wasn’t able to put away Jon Jones. Both are different fighters but they both possess a strong kicking game. If Santos couldn’t put away Jones, I don’t think that Reyes can either. If Jon Jones is consistent in applying pressure, he will wear Reyes down and likely take this fight to the ground where he should be dominant. Reyes is on a tear but he’s not faced someone like Jones. I like the champion to retain his title here.

Prediction: Jon Jones by Decision

“Fighting" Valentina Shevchenko vs Katlyn Chookagian

Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most decorated female MMA fighters in the UFC today. The Bullet is a former multiple time Kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion and is the current UFC flyweight champion. Shevchenko defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 and has successfully defended the belt twice. She stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 66 inches and is a southpaw. Bullet has a record of 18-3 with five knockouts and seven wins by submission.

Kathlyn Chookagian is the former CFFC flyweight and bantamweight champion. The 31-year old is the #1 ranked flyweight contender in the UFC right now. She has a record of 13-2 with two knockouts and one submission victory. Chookagian is 6-2 in the UFC with her losses coming against Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye, both of whom Shevchenko handily beat in her two title defenses.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 02/07/20

Chookagian is the taller fighter here but she doesn’t have a significant reach advantage over the champion. The challenger lands more strikes on the average but the champion is the more accurate striker. Chookagian also absorbs more strikes per minute at 4.58 and that’s not a good thing against a world champion kickboxer like Shevchenko. If this fight goes to the ground, Shevchenko also has the clear edge. I can’t find an area where the challenger can beat the champion. Bullet is unbeaten as a flyweight and she is the biggest betting favorite in this fight card. I think Shevchenko dominates Chookagian here.

Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko

“Fighting" Juan Adams vs Justin Tafa

Juan Adams started his career fighting for Legacy Fighting Alliance. After a 3-0 record, he appeared in Dana White’s Contender Series 15 and earned a UFC contract. Adams knocked out Chris De La Rocha in his UFC debut but has lost back to back fights since then. The 28-year old stands 6-5 with a reach of 80 inches and fights as an orthodox fighter. Adams is 5-2 with five knockout wins. Adams is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Greg Hardy at UFC on ESPN 4.

Justin Tafa started his career with XFC where he compiled a record of 3-0 with 3 knockouts. The Aussie is a prospect of UFC fighter Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt. He stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 74 inches while fighting out of the southpaw stance. Tafa suffered a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Yorgan De Castro in his UFC debut at UFC 243.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 02/07/19

Adams isn’t your usual heavyweight. Despite his size, he is quick with his feet and he can fight at a fast pace. But he hasn’t been able to translate his physical gifts to wins. In this fight, Adams will look to bounce back against an opponent who is rawer than he is. Tafa has shown improvement from the first time we saw him. But his gameplan is still the same. He throws one big punch after another, looking for the stoppage. If he doesn’t get the early KO, he has no plan B. There is a chance that Tafa scores a knockout here because Adams doesn’t have good defense. However, I don’t think that he has the gas tank to keep pace with Adams. And if Tafa hurts Adams, the latter can always turn to his wrestling to turn the tide to his side.

Prediction: Juan Adams

“Fighting" Mirsad Bektic vs Dan Ige

Mirsad Bektic compiled a record of 7-0 in regional promotions in the United States when he was signed by the UFC in 2014. The 28-year old Bosnian-American stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 13-2 with six knockouts and two wins by submission. Bektic won his first four UFC bouts before losing to Darren Elkins by knockout in 2017. His only other loss was also a KO loss, suffered against Josh Emmett, in his most recent bout in July 2019.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 02/07/20

Bektic is the biggest test of Ige’s career but the Hawaiian has overachieved in the UFC and this is his latest chance to prove himself. Ige is an aggressive fighter and I think he will find success here. But even if he connects on Bektic, I’m not sure if he knows how to finish his opponent. Ige likes to scramble but if he does, I think he’ll end up getting reversed and Bektic will control the mat. I think this will be a grinding fight and Ige’s gas tank isn’t any better than Bektic’s. The better fighter should win on points.

Prediction: Mirsad Bektic

“Fighting" Derrick Lewis vs Ilir Latifi

Derrick Lewis is the 6th ranked heavyweight in the UFC. Known as the Black Beast, Lewis stands 6-3 tall and has a reach of 79 inches. Known for his explosive punching power, Lewis owns notable wins over the likes of Francis Ngannou, Alexander Volkov, Roy Nelson, Travis Browne, and Gabriel Gonzaga. Lewis has a record of 22-7 with 18 knockouts. The former Legacy FC heavyweight champion has lost two out of his last three fights and is coming off a split decision win over Blagoy Ivanov.

Ilir Latifi is the 12th ranked heavyweight in the UFC. The Swedish Sledgehammer fought for Shark Fights, Rumble of the Kings, and GLORY before heading over to the UFC. The 36-year old stands 5-10 with a reach of 73 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter. Latifi has fought mostly at light heavyweight and will be making his UFC heavyweight debut. He has a record of 14-7 with six knockouts and four wins by submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 02/07/20

Latifi’s move to heavyweight is a big question mark for me. If he can add weight and can throw more punches, then we fight. But if he bulks up and remains the same low-output striker then this is a no-contest. Derrick Lewis isn’t just the bigger fighter. He is also more explosive and can win this fight with one punch. We’ve seen Lewis knock out bigger opponents. We’ve seen him withstand stronger foes. I like Lewis to win by knockout but I won’t count out another boring bout from the Black Beast.

Prediction: Derrick Lewis

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