Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UFC 247 Predictions: Jones vs. Reyes

UFC 247 is upon us. The event will be held inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas tomorrow night (Feb. 8). Headlining the card will be a light heavyweight title clash between champion Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes. The co-main event will see women’s flyweight title holder Valentina Shevchenko put her gold on the line against Katlyn Chookagian. Also featured on the main card will be a heavyweight battle between Derrick Lewis and Ilir Latifi.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 247 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 247.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
  • Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
  • Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige
  • Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi

Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Fight fans have been wondering if Jones has slowed down or if he’s simply bored with his title challengers. “Bones” didn’t exactly make things look effortless against Thiago Santos in his last outing back in July. Reyes is a threat to anyone but I’m not convinced that he’ll be able to handle Jones’ grappling once “Bones” decides to take the fight there. If Reyes hasn’t improved in that area since his bout with Volkan Oezdemir, I see Jones scoring a submission victory. (Prediction: Jon Jones)

Ed Carbajal: Jones has been a dominant force in the UFC and this match with Reyes seems to be happening more because he has beaten most of the contenders that come to mind. That is not to say Reyes is not a legitimate contender. In the past, when Jones faces an opponent similar in size they have given him some trouble, if anything they go the distance. Reyes seems to think there are holes in Jones’ boxing but even though they may seem the same size, Jones still has a reach advantage. It would be nice if Reyes shocks the world, but that might not happen. (Prediction: Jon Jones)

Andrew Ravens: A fun fight but the majority of fight fans can’t bet against Jones and rightfully so due to the status that he brings with him in every fight. Reyes can fight, he does have knockout power, but Jones is on a different level. Thiago Santos brought a storm with him against Jones in the previous fight for the champion but he also won the fight. Jones controls the distance and picks up yet another unanimous decision win. (Prediction: Jon Jones)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Jon Jones

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian

Fernando Quiles Jr.: If you aren’t patient against Shevchenko, you could end up going to sleep as Jessica Eye did. Eye was antsy in that fight and constantly reacted to what “Bullet” did. I think Chookagian will avoid that fate as Liz Carmouche was able to do but she’ll still be outgunned for five rounds on the feet. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

Ed Carbajal: The size advantage goes to Chookagian here and that could give Shevchenko some trouble. However, Shevchenko has proven to be a cerebral competitor and seems to be evolving as a fighter since she won the title. Still, Chookagian has won a lot of fights by decision and if it goes to the judges that could work in her favor. Shevchenko will likely work for a takedown to get a submission or just do it to cancel out the height and reach advantage. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

Andrew Ravens: I think it will be hard to find any fight fan who gives Chookagian a chance to win this fight. Valentina has found her groove in the flyweight division. Now, granted, the division doesn’t have the depth that one would like to see but she’s a name that fight fans both hardcore and casuals know. Valentina’s striking is more superior to Chookagian and that will lead her to a decision win. (Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Valentina Shevchenko

Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa

Fernando Quiles Jr.: They say that you can lead a horse to water but can’t make the horse drink it. This applies to Adams as he’s made the move to Jackson-Wink MMA in preparation for his bout with Tafa. With Adams’ back against the wall and facing a possible release from the UFC, I think Adams makes a statement and showcases improvements from his game thanks to the camp switch. (Prediction: Juan Adams)

Ed Carbajal: Adams has a bit more experience and might be the fan favorite in Houston. That helps a lot of fighters, especially on the main card. That does not mean Tafa can’t finish him with some heavy blows. This is a tough fight to pick but the slight experience advantage makes it hard not to go with Adams. Still, Tafa is coming off of a loss and may want to make fans forget it happened. (Prediction: Justin Tafa)

Andrew Ravens: Adams is clearly fighting for his job in this fight after losing his last two fights while Tafa is trying to rebound from his previous fights. This is actually a great combination for a heavyweight slugfest that has an almost lock on someone getting knocked out. I side with Adams purely due to him having more experience and getting his hand raised with a KO win in the first round. (Prediction: Juan Adams)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Juan Adams

Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Both Bektic and Ige have had ample time to rest up and prepare for this bout. Bektic is coming off a TKO loss, while Ige has put together a winning streak. It could very well come down to Bektic getting the edge just enough with his grappling to avoid big damage from Ige. I think he edges this one out. (Prediction: Mirsad Bektic)

Ed Carbajal: Ige is on a four-fight win streak and Bektic is certainly the man that could stop it. However, Bektic is coming off a loss to Josh Emmett and while it has been a while since that happened in July, Ige will likely not make it easy to come back from. He may not get a finish but Ige’s momentum might motivate him enough to pull off a decision here. (Prediction: Dan Ige)

Andrew Ravens: Ige has been on fire as of late with him winning his last four fights while Bektic is still trying to find his way. Ige is a name that hardcore fans know about while casuals are in the dark. This could be a perfect time for him to show the world what he can do with a unanimous decision win. (Prediction: Dan Ige)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Dan Ige

Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Latifi has quite the task in front of him for his first heavyweight bout under the UFC banner. Both Lewis and Latifi have massive power but Lewis is just built for the heavyweight division. Don’t be surprised if Latifi finds success early only to end up staring at the lights. (Prediction: Derrick Lewis)

Ed Carbajal: Lewis is promising an early knockout and with his size advantage, he very well may likely do it. Latifi would be smart to make Lewis chase him and draw him into a takedown. Lewis is not easy to submit but if the fight goes the distance, the odds favor Latifi. That’s still a hard ask though against a fighter like Lewis. (Prediction: Derrick Lewis)

Andrew Ravens: This has to be stated, don’t sleep on Latifi. He’s always a game fighter and tough one at that. Lewis has struggled as of late and while Latifi isn’t a top tier fighter, he does have knockout power. Any time there are heavyweights on the card, fans expect to see someone go to sleep and this fight isn’t any different. I do think Lewis can and will win this fight and likely do so with a KO win in the second round. (Prediction: Derrick Lewis)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Derrick Lewis

That’ll do it for the UFC 247 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 247.