UFC 247 is in the books! Two title fights played out and multiple fighters from the great state of Texas competed in front of their home crowd. Join us as we break down the entire main card fight-by-fight!
UFC 247 Main Card Recap
Jon Jones (C) vs Dominick Reyes
When it’s all said and done, Jon Jones will go down as one of the greatest champions in the history of MMA. Listing every notable fighter that he has defeated would be about as cumbersome to read as movie credits are after a three-hour film. Though the win is currently being debated among fight fans worldwide, Jones was able to defeat Dominick Reyes in an extremely close fight.
Reyes came out aggressive and landed several heavy shots on Jones. Every time Jones went to throw any type of leg-kick, Reyes would throw one at the same time. This seemed to throw Jones off his game. Reyes also refused to be a stationary target throughout the full duration of the fight. The challenger outstruck Jones in the earlier rounds, but Jones’ forward momentum and takedown attempts appeared to tire out Reyes as the fight went on. The third stanza is arguably what decided who would win on the judges scorecards. Though Reyes was winning in the early going, Jones incrementally closed the gap each round. And although he seemed to do better in the second than he did in the first, (though striking numbers indicate otherwise) he appeared to lose both. This trend continued until Jones had his most dominant round in the fifth.
Jon Jones has now won the most championship fights in UFC history. As the new crop of contenders continue to invade his division, he might be well-advised to make the jump to heavyweight now. Then again, maybe it’s time to go out on top like Georges St. Pierre once did. Because for all intents and purposes, I would liken Jones’ Dominick Reyes to GSP’s Johny Hendricks.
Valentina Shevchenko (C) vs Katlyn Chookagian
It has been widely predicted by many, that Valentina Shevchenko will be the UFC women’s flyweight champion for the foreseeable future. She arguably gave the surging bantamweight/featherweight champion Amanda Nunes her toughest title fight to date. Although she ultimately lost against Nunes twice, many argue that she won the rematch. From that moment on, Shevchenko subsequently dropped to flyweight and stormed the budding division. In the process, she handily defeated the most dominant UFC women’s strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzeczyk.
The first UFC title fight of 2020 was a one-sided pounding—and Valentina Shevchenko was swinging the hammer. Katlyn Chookagian looked ready for the fight of her life, but she didn’t have an answer for anything Shevchenko threw at her. In the final moments of the fight, Shevchenko rained down punches on Chookagian from the mounted crucifix position. The referee had no choice but to wave it off. Valentina Shevchenko remains the UFC women’s flyweight champion with a round 3 TKO victory over Katlyn Chookagian. This was the eighth time in UFC history that a stoppage came from the mounted crucifix position.
Juan Adams vs Justin Tafa
Back at UFC 243, Justin Tafa lost his promotional debut via KO in round 1. Hailing from New Zealand, he was lauded by the Australian audience that he was fighting in front of. However, at the time, Tafa was an admitted greenhorn with only three professional bouts to his name. Even more nerve-wracking, he was fighting in front of the largest crowd in UFC history. His bout against Juan Adams at UFC 247 would mark an opportunity to steer his young UFC career in a more favorable direction.
Though he had more experience competing in the octagon, Juan Adams was coming from his own stoppage loss as well. About seven months ago, he quickly lost a grudge match against Greg Hardy via TKO. Put simply, Adams was also looking to rebound impressively.
With both men being power punchers, many felt this fight would come down to who landed first. Justin Tafa would land heavy punches in the first round, and that was all it took to get the victory. Juan Adams crumbled to the ground after being hit with a powerful right hook and an uppercut. Justin Tafa defeated Juan Adams via TKO at 2:01 of the very first round.
Mirsad Bektic vs Dan Ige
Walking out to the octagon with ‘2pac – All Eyez on Me’ playing, Mirsad Bektic likely felt a piercing gaze from the mass of viewers who would inevitably be tuning in to a UFC PPV headlined by Jon Jones. Bektic came into UFC 247 coming off a stoppage loss against the heavy-handed Josh Emmett. His opponent would be the dangerous Dan Ige. Riding the momentum of a four-fight winning streak, Ige came into this fight known for being extremely aggressive and hard to finish.
The fight played out about as competitively as fans of the two would have expected. Dan Ige had the clear upper hand in the first round, whereas Mirsad Bektic seemed to swing things back in his favor in the second. Each competitor had a case to win the third round but there could only be one winner. When the scorecards were read out, it was unsurprisingly a split-decision. Dan Ige defeated Mirsad Bektic via split-decision after three rounds.
Derrick Lewis vs Ilir Latifi
Moving up from 205 pounds to the heavyweight division, Ilir Latifi was the underdog against the much larger Derrick Lewis. Even by heavyweight standards, Lewis is one of the more powerful men to compete at 265. But ‘The Sledgehammer’ stepped up to take on the hometown hero. As the underdog, in hostile territory, it was apropos that Latifi came out to the famous Rocky theme music. He had his work cut out for him, but he appeared fearless.
Throughout the bout, Latifi continuously worked to clinch with Derrick Lewis. He was often able to get double under-hooks and take ‘The Black Beast’ down to the ground. Lewis, on the other hand, wanted to keep the fight standing. His efforts to do so would render mixed results. In the end, powerful flurries, flying knees, and going for broke in the final moments of the fight proved to earn Lewis a judge’s decision. Derrick Lewis defeated Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision. He was on the winning side of three 29-28 scorecards.