UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes

The UFC heads down to the Lone Star state this weekend for UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes, LIVE Saturday night from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Action begins with the Early Prelims at 6:30PM/ET followed by the Prelims on ESPN at 8:00/PM/ET. The UFC 247 Main Card starts at 10:00PM/ET on Pay Per View (PPV). 
UFC 247 Main Card Predictions 
#6 Derrick Lewis (-250) vs. #12 LHW Ilir Latifi (+210)
“The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (22-7-0,1NC) hopes to put on a show in front of his hometown by spoiling the Heavyweight debut of divisional newcomer “The Sledgehammer” Ilir Latifi (14-7-0,1NC). The Black Beast earned a narrow Split Decision win over Blagoy Ivanov at MSG 244 in November, putting a end to a two fight skid following stoppage losses to former Champions Daniel Cormier and Junior Dos Santos. Following back to back losses to Light Heavyweight contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Corey Anderson, veteran Ilir Latifi has decided to make the move up to Heavyweight after compiling a 7-5 record in his first twelve Octagon appearances. As the smaller fighter, Latifi will have to use his speed and quickness to wear on Lewis, take him down and then improve on his positioning. The Black Beast will be fired up to be fighting in Houston, and as we have seen in the past, all it takes is one mistake by his opponent for Lewis to capitalize and end the fight. Should be a good fight to start the PPV. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Latifi via Decision 
D’Bo’s Pick: Lewis via First Round TKO
Mirsad Bektic (-135) vs. Dan Ige (+115)
Mirsad Bektic (13-2-0) meets “Dynamite” Dan Ige (12-2-0) in a Featherweight bout with plenty of Fight of the Night potential. Although Mirsad Bektic fell to 6-2 in the UFC in July at UFC Sacramento by losing to Josh Emmett via First Round TKO, the Tristar Gym product remains a very exciting prospect who will be intent this weekend on ending the four fight win streak of Dan Ige. Since coming up short against Julio Arce in his official debut at UFC 220 back in February 2018, Dan Ige has ripped off four straight wins to get his swagger back on track and feel at home competing in the Octagon. While wins over Mike Santiago, Danny Henry, Jordan Griffin and Kevin Aguilar have given a boost to Ige’s confidence, Dynamite Dan will geta true character test in what should be an awesome Featherweight showdown with Bektic. I believe the winner of Ige-Bektic should have a number in front of their name after this fight. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Ige vis Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Bektic via Decision 
Juan Adams (-240)  vs. Justin Tafa (+200)
Juan “The Kraken” Adams (5-2-0) will be looking to overcome his recent setbacks as he takes on Australia’s Justin “The Bad Man” Tafa (3-1-0) in a Heavyweight contest. While Juan Adams had success in his Octagon debut at UFC Milwaukee in 2018, “The Kraken” has since suffered consecutive losses to Greg Hardy (TKO) and Arjan Singh Bhullar (Decision). The former Contender Series standout will attempt to get back on track against Justin Tafa, who is coming off of a First Round TKO loss to Yorgan De Castro in his promotional debut at UFC 243 in October. Both of these big men will be throwing caution to the wind in this one, I’d be surprised if we see a second round. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Adams via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Adams via First Round TKO
{C} Valentina Schevchenko (-1100) vs. #1 Kaitlyn Chookagian (+700)
Valentina “The Bullet” Schevchenko (18-3-0) looks to continue her dominant reign as UFC Flyweight Champion as she takes on the number one contender and next challenger in line, “The Blonde Fighter” Katlyn Chookagian (13-2-0).  A winner in five of her last six Octagon appearances, and with an overall record of 6-2 since joining the 2016, Katlyn Chookagian gets the opportunity that many fighters dream of—to fight for a UFC Championship title—but against an opponent and champion that many fighters are terrified to compete against.In her second title defense, Valentina Schevchenko made veteran Liz Carmouche look completely pedestrian avenging a loss from 2010 and shutting her out in a rather uneventful one sided affair at UFC Uruguay in August. Two months prior at UFC 238 against Jessica Eye, Schevchenko turned in a Knockout of the Year contending performance for her violent and swift First Round Headkick finish. Whether standing or on the mat, Schevchenko is comfortable wherever the fight goes and is always capabling of finishing a fight. Chookagian, however, has gone the distance in all eight of her UFC bouts, albeit having never been finished, with her two losses coming by way of Split Decision (Eye, Carmouche). Chookagian will have a pronounced height and reach advantage, but oddsmakers do not believe it will be enough to stop the Bullet, as the Blonde Fighter is a substantial underdog. The question may not be who wins, but how long does it last. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Schevchenko via Second Round Submission 
D’Bo’s Pick: Schevchenko via Decision 
MAIN EVENT—UFC Lightweight Championship
{C} Jon Jones (-450) vs. #4 Dominick Reyes (+360)
Arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones (25-1-0,1NC) is set to make his next title defense against a confident contender, the undefeated Dominick “The Devastator”Reyes (12-0-0). Dominick Reyes remained in title contention following his controversial Split Decision win over Volkan Oezdemir, a result for Reyes that many believed should have went the other way. With that being said, a win is a win. Moving forward, last October Reyes spoiled the Light Heavyweight debut of Chris Weidman in the Main Event of UFC Boston, dispatching the former Middleweight champion in less than two minutes via First Round Knockout. With his win of Weidman, Reyes was earned his fourth finish inside the Octagon, improved to 6-0 in the UFC, and now has two wins over former Light Heavyweight title challengers and a former UFC Champion. However, all eyes will be on Jon Jones  to see which version of the GOAT will appear when he enters the cage this Saturday. Jones is 16-0,1NC since his controversial disqualification loss to Matt Hamill back in December 2009 on the Ultimate Fighter finale. Jones is coming off of a Split Decision win over a compromised Thiago Santos at UFC 239, where Santos put on one of the gutsiest and grittiest title fight performances, taking Jones the distance and one judges eyes, did enough to defeat Jon Jones with two knees injured in fight.  At UFC 235 in March of last year, Jones defeated Anthony Smith by Unanimous Decision in a lopsided matchup, in which many thought Jones was too relaxed and did not seek a finish in what appeared to be an overmatched Anthony Smith. Thiago Santos definitely surprised everybody, including Jones. Jones can not make a habit of overlooking his opponents despite the discussion of future super fights with Champions Stipe Miocic and Israel Adesanya. Jones has a ton more Octagon time, experience, and fighting at a Championship level, if Jon Jones is hungry and determined, there is no one better in the world at Light Heavyweight. With that being said, I am excited to see what Dominick Reyes brings to the table and which version Jon Jones he pulls out for their UFC 247 Main Event. And Still? Or And New?
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Jones via Third Round TKO 

D’Bo’s Pick: Reyes via Third Round TKO
Next weekend  the UFC heads down to Rio Rancho, New Mexico for UFC on ESPN+25: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!! 

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