UFC 247 takes place February 8th from the Toyota centre in Houston, Texas. The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes. The co-main will feature a women’s flyweight title fight between champion Valentina Shevchenko and Katlyn Chookagian. We delve into the numbers behind each of these four fighters to see if they give us an indication as to how the fights could play out. All stats are accurate as per UFC stats.
UFC 246 Main Event
Stats behind Jones and Reyes
Sitting at an official (although almost everyone disputes his lone loss) 25-1-0 and one no contest, Jon Jones is widely considered one of the best mixed martial artists ever. Having captured the belt at just 23 (making him the youngest champion of all time), Jones has been on a tear. Riding a 17 fight unbeaten streak, Jones comes into the bout with a lot of momentum.
His opponent at UFC 247, Dominick Reyes is also riding a lot of momentum. Undefeated in MMA, Reyes has burst onto the scene with a 12-0 record, 6-0 in the UFC. One major stat that stands out here is that Jones has competed in more UFC title fights (14) than Reyes has had professional MMA bouts. This highlights the gulf in experience that Jones has.
Jones holds an impressive 10 TKO/KO victories, Reyes holds seven. The 84” reach of Jones is unprecedented at 205lbs, leading to him landing an average of 4.31 strikes per minute, with an accuracy of 57%. In his most recent bout, Jones landed just 59 total strikes over five rounds. This is far less than his previous two fights that have gone 25 minutes where he landed 125 (against Anthony Smith) and 105 (against Ovince St Preux).
Reyes’ 77” reach advantage is bigger than both of Jones’ previous two opponents. He also lands at a higher clip than Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith (Jones’ last two opponents). Reyes lands an average of 5.03 strikes per minute, with an accuracy of 52%, slightly lower than Jones. Reyes’ only five-round scheduled fight in the UFC lasted under one round. Knocking out Chris Weidman, Reyes landed just 10 strikes on his way to the knockout.
Jones (it would appear) has the advantage on the ground. With six wins via submission, Jones’ groundwork is extensive. He hasn’t notched a submission victory since his win over Vitor Belfort in 2012, however. A strong wrestler (having only been taken down twice in his career, with a takedown defence average of 95%), Jones can dictate where the fight takes place. He lands only 1.90 takedowns per fight, with an accuracy of 46%.
Reyes has finished just one fight in the UFC and two in his entire career by submission. In his second UFC fight, Reyes scored a rear-naked choke over Jeremy Kimball. He has landed just one takedown in his UFC career. He averages just 0.40 submission attempts per 15 mins. Reyes’ ground game is largely an unknown entity in the UFC and he could surprise us all.
UFC 247 – Co-Main Event
Stats behind Shevchenko and Chookagian
Both women featuring in the UFC 247 co-main event are well known to the hardcore fans. Valentina Shevchenko holds an unblemished record at flyweight (4-0) and a UFC record of 7-2. The two losses on her UFC record have both come at the hands of the GOAT, Amanda Nunes. She is a multiple-time world champion in kickboxing and muay Thai, holding a professional kickboxing record of 56-3.
Chookagian holds a flyweight record of 4-1 and a UFC record of 6-2. Her only losses have both come via split decision. Both have also come at the hands of title challengers. A two-division CFFC champion before entering the UFC, Chookagian has a wealth of experience. She has also gone 25 minutes previously outside of the UFC, back in 2016.
It is difficult to determine who has the advantage in the striking realm. We know all too well how good a striker the champion is. She has finished five of her 18 wins via TKO/KO, including the vicious head kick knockout of Jessica Eye.
Valentina Shevchenko is danger.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) February 3, 2020
The champion lands at an average of 3.02 strikes per minute. She impressively landed 92 strikes to two in her flyweight debut. What makes this even more impressive is that it ended in the second round. This is just under 13 strikes per minute. She lands at a success rate of 49%, often using feints to get reads on her opponents.
Chookagian lands more strikes per minute than Shevchenko at 4.35, with an accuracy of just 32%. Crucially however, Chookagian absorbs strikes at a higher rate than Shevchenko. She absorbs an average of 4.58 strikes per minute as opposed to the champions absorption rate of just 2.16. We saw Joanne Calderwood eat up Chookagian’s legs in their fight and this could be a method to victory for Shevchenko. Much of Chookagian’s game is based on movement and chopping at the legs could prevent this.
On the ground
Simply put, Chookagian likes to keep the fight standing. In her UFC career, she is yet to land a takedown. Don’t be fooled however, she is a brown belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie, so is certainly more than competent on the floor. Her takedown defence is at 56%, meaning she gets taken down on almost half of shots taken on her.
Shevchenko holds a takedown accuracy of 51%, landing 20 takedowns in her UFC career. She landed an impressive five takedowns against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in their title fight. These statistics would suggest that should the fight go to the ground, it will be the champions choice. Shevchenko also holds an impressive seven submissions in her MMA career, which may allude as to how this fight could go.
UFC 247 Countdown Show
Not already hyped enough for these two bouts? Check out the UFC’s countdown show for UFC 247 on YouTube.
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