UFC 247 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Jones vs. Reyes

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

HOUSTON, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 07:  (L-R) Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes face off during the UFC 247 ceremonial weigh-in at Toyota Center on February 07, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes highlights the UFC 247 fight card set to go down Saturday in Houston, Texas. 

Bones looks to defend his belt for the third time in his current title reign and the 11th time in his career. The dominant champion has shown cracks in recent fights, which makes Reyes an interesting challenge. 

Jones isn't the only dominant champion on the card; Valentina Shevchenko will also look to continue her reign of the women's flyweight division. She's successfully defended the strap against Jessica Eye and Liz Carmouche and will now try to add Katlyn Chookagian to that list. 

The rest of the main card is filled out with two heavyweight bouts, including an appearance from Derrick Lewis, and an intriguing featherweight fight with Mirsad Bektic and Dan Ige. 

            

Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET)

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  • Jon Jones (c) (-550) vs. Dominick Reyes (+375) for the light heavyweight title
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) (-1200) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+750) for the women's flyweight title
  • Juan Adams (-250) vs. Justin Tafa (+200)
  • Mirsad Bektic (-135) vs. Dan Ige (+105)
  • Derrick Lewis (-220) vs. Ilir Latifi (+180)

Preliminaries (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

  • James Krause (-145) vs. Trevin Giles (+115)
  • Alex Morono (-350) vs. Kalinn Williams (+275)
  • Lauren Murphy (+260) vs. Andrea Lee (-330)
  • Miles Johns (-135) vs. Mario Bautista (+105)

Early Prelims (ESPN+, 6:15 p.m. ET)

  • Domingo Pilarte (-140) vs. Journey Newson (+110)
  • Andre Ewell (-130) vs. Jonathan Martinez (+100)
  • Austin Lingo (-210) vs. Youssef Zalal (+175)

Odds via Caesars Palace.

              

Biggest Questions

Is Jon Jones Losing "It" or Just Bored?

Jon Jones has always been vexing. He's the most talented fighter in the history of the sport, and his unique frame and ability to unleash violence with it makes him almost unbeatable. 

But it definitely didn't look that way against Thiago Santos last time out. Marreta gave Jones the closest call of his career, losing via split decision in a hard-fought five-rounder. 

Whether that's a sign that Jones is starting to lose his touch or if he's merely bored with the light heavyweight division is what we'll find out Saturday night. 

Bones' talent is unquestioned, but he's a complex man. The myriad of troubles outside the cage has often overshadowed his accomplishments in it. His personality is hard to peg down, and it wouldn't be shocking to find out that he's simply not feeling the challengers he is getting at light heavyweight. 

If that's the case, this fight against Reyes could be dangerous. The challenger has the size and power that have traditionally given Jones the most problems.

If the Marreta fight was a wake-up call for the champ, then this fight probably isn't close. Jones' leg kicks and use of his length and wrestling should put him in control wherever the fight goes. If he continues to fight passively, Reyes could score the upset. 

Prediction: Jones via third-round TKO

               

Can Valentina Shevchenko Put on an Exciting Performance against Katlyn Chookagian?

Valentina Shevchenko is a huge favorite against Katlyn Chookagian in the co-main event. It's going to be hard to find a woman who can beat her at flyweight. 

Instead, the real question surrounding this fight is whether Bullet can make it exciting. The champion figures to win the fight, but on paper, it doesn't look like a Fight of the Night candidate. 

Chookagian is happy to keep things on the outside. Like, really outside. She spends much of her time out of the opponent's range, dinking and dunking her way to a lead on the scorecards. 

Shevchenko has a penchant for being a counter-puncher, so we could be in for an elongated staring contest with the champion waiting for something to counter that never comes. 

Instead, the hope is that we see a more aggressive Shevchenko who can deliver a highlight-reel finish like she did against Jessica Eye. 

If Shevchenko can score a knockdown with her striking, it could be over in short order. She has a big advantage on the ground if that's where the fight winds up. 

Prediction: Shevchenko via second-round submission. 

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