UFC 247 Live Jones vs. Reyes Odds, Tickets, Predictions, and Pre-Weigh-in Hype. Dominick Reyes rises to the rank of light heavyweight title challenger in the main event of UFC 247, but champion Jon Jones isn’t impressed.
The two have waged a war of words as Reyes attempts to build himself as someone who could possibly put an end to Bones’ reign over the division. The promotion will set up shop in Houston for the championship fight on Saturday.
Here’s a look at the complete offering for the card and some of the hype going into the event.
The feuding 205ers aren’t the only ones vying for a title on the card. Valentina Shevchenko is slated to defend her flyweight belt against Katlyn Chookagian in the co-main event.
At this point, there isn’t much of a selling point for any contender facing Jones. He’s dismantled striking specialists, grapplers, tall opponents, short opponents, knockout artists, and grinders. There isn’t a style matchup in the light heavyweight division he hasn’t already seen.
Reyes, however, contends that Jones is going to see a different level of an athlete on Saturday.
Elsewhere on the card, Derrick Lewis returns to the cage to welcome Ilir Latifi to the heavyweight division. The fan-favorite will look to continue his momentum after picking up a decision over Blagoy Ivanov in his last bout.
Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET)
Jon Jones (c) (-450) vs. Dominick Reyes (+325) – Light Heavyweight Championship Fight
Valentina Shevchenko (c) (-1400) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+800) – Women’s Flyweight Championship Fight
Juan Adams (-220) vs. Justin Tafa (+180)
Mirsad Bektic (-145) vs. Dan Ige (+115)
Derrick Lewis (-270) vs. Ilir Latifi (+220)
Preliminaries (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
Trevin Giles (-140) vs. Antonio Arroyo (+110)
Alex Morono (-280) vs. Kalinin Williams (+230)
Lauren Murphy (+280) vs. Andrea Lee (-360)
Early Prelims (ESPN+, 6:15 p.m. ET)
Miles Johns (-135) vs. Mario Bautista (+105)
Domingo Pilate (-140) vs. Journey Newson (+110)
Andre Ewell (N/A) vs. Jonathan Martinez (N/A)
Reyes is selling a fight. Despite an undefeated record and a convincing win over Chris Weidman, he’s far from a household name.
Until it actually happens, it’s unwise to pick against the champion against anyone at 205. An eventual move to heavyweight might change things but right now its Jones versus whoever.
The 30-year-old was an NFL hopeful after playing safety at Stony Brooke University. He believes the athleticism found in traditional sports is beyond what is required of a mixed martial artist.
“I was speaking on being a traditional athlete: baseball, football, basketball, track, and field. Those sports are different than being a martial artist,” he said, per Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog. “They require a different amount of athleticism and focus. If you don’t understand it, then you don’t understand it.”
Jones—who has two brothers with NFL careers—isn’t buying it.
Shevchenko comes into Saturday’s card as the biggest favorite. That’s saying something on a bill that features Jones.
But that’s the state of affairs already in the women’s flyweight division. Shevchenko has defended her belt twice since winning it from Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December 2018. Already, it feels like the biggest fights for her are outside of 125 pounds.
In terms of MMA, Reyes is a good athlete. He has explosive power and is quick for his size. But it doesn’t stand out as strongly against Jones who himself is a powerful athlete. It doesn’t translate to one-strike knockout power for Bones most of the time, but watch him ragdoll opponents in the clinch and say he’s not athletic.