Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes headline UFC 247 for the light heavyweight title. While the main event is without a doubt a must-see fight on any fight card, this one is unique as Jones is facing another opponent that matches his dimensions. However, no fight card is full without the company of other great competitors in mixed martial arts. With UFC 247 only days away, here are five fights that should be on your radar.
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
Mark La Monica of Newsday posted on social media that UFC 247 is the “15th consecutive championship fight” for Jones. The seemingly unbeatable champion has faced criticism over his recent wins, which makes fans wonder if Jones is slowing down or just playing with his food. Still, Jones seems to have trouble when his opponents are close in height and reach and Reyes does fit that bill. There is always a possibility that Reyes could shock the world and who doesn’t want to miss that if it happens?
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Shevchenko has evolved so much in her MMA career, it is no wonder she has been able to defend her flyweight title twice since she won it from Joanna Jędrzejczyk in 2018. Chookagian has a slight height and reach advantage and training her ground game under John Danaher might give her an edge should Shevchenko try to make up the size and reach difference by taking her to the ground. If anyone matches well against one another, it’s these two.
Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi
At this point, watching Lewis fight will always leave fans with something memorable when it’s over. It could be anything from criticism of his performance if he loses, or any memorable quote he will come up with if he wins. This one could make for a quick fight or one that goes all three rounds. Latifi has already lost two in a row so he will likely not be coming to play any games in the cage. Either way, this fight should be a good bit of fun.
Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Arroyo
This middleweight matchup is interesting because it has two competitive fighters in their prime in need of a win. Giles lost his last two fights by submission and Arroyo, who won his ticket to the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series, lost his first UFC bout. Giles seemingly has more to lose than Arroyo but chances are they got booked as the final preliminary bout on the broadcast portion of the card because they will be fighting to break their losing streaks and remain in the UFC.
Lauren Murphy vs. Andrea Lee
A former LFA champion in Lee and a former Invicta FC champion in Murphy should already have this match highlighted in any list of fights to watch. In fact, with most of Murphy’s wins coming by way of knockout or TKO and Lee’s wins by submission this could fall under the classic “striker vs. grappler” category. Lee is coming off a loss too so she may bring the fight to Murphy in order to not pick up another defeat.
UFC 247 has plenty of reasons to make you tune in. Of course, for the hardcore fans, every card is worth watching from top-to-bottom but after UFC 246 that came with all the hype of a returning Conor McGregor, momentum can keep going or fade depending on what fans are looking for. These events in the first quarter of the year can make for some exciting fights in the near future so UFC 247 should be on your radar this weekend.
What fights are you looking forward to at UFC 247?