UFC 247 tips: Best bets for Jones v Reyes
Jack Green makes his predictions for the top two fights on Saturday night's card, with two titles on the line.
JON JONES V DOMINICK REYES
The UFC’s biggest star not named Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon on Saturday night.
Jones hasn’t fought since July 2019 when he eked out a split decision win over Thiago Santos, who gave the light heavyweight champion the toughest fight since he faced Alexander Gustafsson for the first time back in 2013.
Jones never looked completely comfortable against the powerful Brazilian, and now faces another big striker in Reyes.
The 30-year-old is undefeated in 12 career fights and is coming off a huge first-round knockout victory over Chris Weidman.
Like Santos, Reyes is dangerous with his hands and feet and will look to use kicks to get inside Jones’ defence and set up a one-punch KO.
As vulnerable as Jones looked last time out, though, he’s always been an incredibly smart fighter who learns from his performances and adapts accordingly.
Expect Jones to be cautious early on and use his superior wrestling to stifle Reyes on the way to another successful title defence.
Jones to win by decision
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO V KAITLYN CHOOKAGIAN
Another title is up for grabs in the co-main event, as Shevchenko defends her flyweight belt for the third time.
The Kyrgystani-Peruvian has looked unstoppable in this division so far. She won the title by comfortably outpointing Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December 2018 and followed that up with a KO of Jessica Eye and straightforward decision against Liz Carmouche.
Few fighters have Shevchenko’s combination of size, speed and power, and it’s hard to see anything but another victory for the champion against Chookagian this weekend.
The challenger is a good technical fighter who picks her opponents apart from range, but she doesn’t have the knockout power to trouble Shevchenko, having won by stoppage just twice in her career.
Chookagian’s only losses to date have both been by split decision, though, so she should be able to last all five yards in defeat on Saturday.
Shevchenko to win by decision
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