Jon Jones retained his belt at UFC 247 with a unanimous decision victory over Dominick Reyes, but it certainly wasn't easy.
The Devastator showed from the jump the audience was in for an epic showdown. He came out swinging and showed no fear in attacking the champ. Reyes rode a strong left hand, body shots and some high kicks to an early lead in the bout, taking the first two rounds.
The most contested round in fight was the third frame. Reyes appeared to land more volume, but Jones started to come on strong.
The championship rounds belonged to the man holding the belt. Jones went to a more wrestling-centric game and scored some key takedown that he believed ultimately won him the fight.
It was a close fight to call that is sure to generate plenty of discussion about scoring and the judging job done in Texas.
UFC 247 Main Card Results
- Jon Jones def. Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 49-46)
- Valentina Shevchenko def. Katlyn Chookagian via TKO at 1:03 R3
- Justin Tafa def. Juan Adams via TKO at 1:59 of R1
- Dan Ige def. Mirsad Bektic via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Derrick Lewis def. Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision (29-28)
UFC 247 Prelims Results
- Trevin Giles def. James Krause via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Lauren Murphy def. Andrea Lee via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
- Kalinn Williams def. Alex Morono via KO at 0:27 of R1
- Mario Bautista def. Miles Johns via TKO at 1:41 or R2
- Journey Newson def. Domingo Pilarte via TKO at 0:38 of R1
- Andre Ewell def. Jonathan Martinez via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
- Youseff Zalal def. Austin Lingo via unanimous decision (30-27)
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Valentina Shevchenko proved once again that she's the best female flyweight fighter in the world with a dominant third-round TKO over Katlyn Chookagian.
Chookagian's vaunted distance striking was nullified by the speed and strength of Shevchenko. Despite giving up height and length to her challenger, she was able to counter any of Chookagian's assaults in the striking game while holding a big advantage in the grappling.
Shevchenko sliced her opponent open with an elbow to end the first round:
Then in the second, she showcased her lightning-quick striking with a nice spinning kick that landed flush:
In the third and final round, she got the fight to the ground once again and the end was near for the challenger. She moved to the crucifix position and landed several uncontested shots to draw the stoppage from the referee.
This is Shevchenko's third consecutive title defense. This performance just showed the sheer gap in ability and talent that exists in the division. Shevchenko is simply too fast, too technical and too well-rounded for everyone in this division thus far and there aren't many challengers that stand out as possible problems for her.
Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
Juan Adams and Justin Tafa only know one way to win a fight: By knockout.
Adams and Tafa came into their UFC 247 bout with nothing but knockout wins on their records. So it should come as no surprise that Tafa got his hand raised by knockout.
A pensive start didn't last long for the Australian. Once he started letting his hands go he started connecting and once he started connecting the end was near. He answered an Adams clinch attempt with a huge uppercut that landed flush and ended the fight in just under two minutes.
It's a disappointing result for Adams, who is a Houston native. The 28-year-old started on an exciting note with a win on Dana White's Contender Series and a win in his UFC debut. Since then, he's 0-3 with back-to-back knockout losses to his name.
Dan Ige vs. Mirsad Bektic
Dan Ige and Mirsad Bektic appeared to be close on paper and they didn't disappoint. Ige did just enough to get the nod on two judges' scorecards and earned the split decision.
Ige took control of the opening round, winning the striking exchanges and avoiding the wrestling game of Bektic. The second round was an opportunity for Bektic to show off the strengths of his game. He took the fight to the ground and came close to ending it with a choke from the mount position.
That left it all in the air in the third round and it served as a microcosm for the entire fight. Both fighters had their moments, but it was Ige who once again had the striking advantage and convinced two of the three judges that he deserved the nod.
Ige now has five wins in a row and is building undeniable momentum in the featherweight division. Bektic, who was once one of the hottest prospects in the division, has now lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his career.
Ilir Latifi vs. Derrick Lewis
Nobody does "swangin' and bangin'" quite like Derrick Lewis.
The Black Beast turned in a classic performance to welcome Ilir Latifi to the heavyweight division with a decision loss. Lewis, fighting in his hometown of Houston, got off to a fast start with a flying knee among other big shots.
However, Latifi came back in the second round with a clinch-heavy approach that controlled the pace and slowed down Lewis.
Then, the third saw the classic Lewis that fans have come to love. The exhausted big man threw everything he could at Latifi to try and finish the fight:
He couldn't quite get the finish, but he did put some highlights on his reel en route to getting a decision win.