UFC 247 predictions — Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes: Fight card, expert picks, odds, prelims, date


Two championship fights sit atop the UFC 247 card, with two titleholders who rank among the most dominant in the sport. Jon Jones, arguably the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts, will defend against a very confident challenger in Dominick Reyes, and dominant women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko will defend against No. 1 contender Katlyn Chookagian. The action all goes down Saturday from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Questions remain after this fight as to whether or not Jones will finally make the move up to heavyweight in search of asserting his dominance in another weightclass, but a win on Saturday would break his tie with Georges St-Pierre for career wins in title fights.  There’s also the possibility of facing middleweight champion Israel Adesanya should he get past Yoel Romero next month given the epic war of words the two have engaged in over social media.

Shevchenko, meanwhile, faces a similar fate with a win on Saturday night given the lack of depth in the women’s 125-pound division. Another ho-hum victory could see “Bullet” move back up to 135 to challenge Amanda Nunes one final time in pursuit of overcoming the problem’s that arguably the greatest women’s mixed martial artist poses to the slightly smaller fighter.

As for the rest of the card, casual fans will get the chance to see some of the rising prospects in the company with a serious lack of name recognition abound. Juan Adams and Justin Tafa are in the featured slot ahead of the two title bouts despite losing their last fights. However, the pair of heavyweights are known for action fights and bring a knockout or be knocked out mentality to the Octagon every fight.

Get your expert picks for UFC 247 from our podcast — State of Combat with Brian Campbell — where we look at everything on the main card and get some in-depth analysis on the betting lines and angles from Brandon Wise.

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the card with the latest odds from William Hill.

UFC 247 main card

  • Jon Jones (c) -500 vs. Dominick Reyes +400 — Light heavyweight title
  • Valentina Shevchenko (c) -1100 vs. Katlyn Chookagian +700 — Women’s flyweight title
  • Juan Adams -240 vs. Justin Tafa +200 — Heavyweights
  • Mirsad Bektic -135 vs. Dan Ige +115– Featherweights
  • Derrick Lewis -240 vs. Ilir Latifi +200 — Heavyweights

Prelims

  • Trevin Giles N/A vs. James Krause N/A — Middleweights
  • Andrea Lee -360 vs. Lauren Murphy +280 — Women’s flyweights
  • Domingo Pilarte -135 vs. Journey Newson +115 — Welterweights 
  • Mies Johns -125 vs. Mario Bautista +105 — Bantamweights

Early Prelims

  • Andre Ewell -125 vs. Jonathan Martinez +105 — Bantamweights
  • Alex Morono -300 vs. Kalinn Williams +240 — Bantamweights
  • Austin Lingo -220 vs. Youssef Zalal +180 — Featherweights 

With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card with latest odds from MGM. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (editor).

UFC 247 picks

Jones vs. Reyes

Jones

Jones 

Jones Jones Jones Jones

Shevchenko vs. Chookagian

Shevchenko

Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko Shevchenko

Shevchenko

Adams vs. Tafa

Tafa

Adams

Adams Tafa Adams

Tafa

Bektic vs. Ige

Bektic

Ige

Ige Bektic Ige

Bektic

Lewis vs. Latifi Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis Lewis

Campbell on why Jones will win: Reyes has all the tools to not just make this a difficult night but actually pull the upset thanks to his 6-foot-4 southpaw frame and heavy striking. He’ll need to display a number of championship intangibles to get there, though, which are elements Jones has in spades. Should Jones treat Reyes with the proper amount of respect and focus on making it as short of a night as possible, he likely will. The question ultimately comes down to intention and whether Jones allows Reyes to build a case through activity on the scorecards.

Brookhouse on why Jones will win: Knocking out a chinny Chris Weidman who was moving up in weight seems to have clouded some judgement on where Reyes is in his development. Yes, Reyes has all the physical tools needed to pull off an upset and he may well be a future champion at 205 pounds. The Weidman victory came one fight after what many consider to be a gift in a split decision win over Volkan Oezdemir. MMADecisions shows the majority of media members scoring that fight for Oezdemir. And Reyes was the fifth fighter to knock out Weidman in the former middleweight champ’s six most recent fights. Reyes is still developing and has never been in with anyone close to on the level of Jones. As long as Jones keeps working through all five rounds and doesn’t let Reyes steal points by simply doing more, this should be another successful defense for the champ.

Campbell on why Shevchenko will win: The alarming lack of depth at 125 pounds mixed with Shevchenko’s incredibly well-rounded game makes it difficult to imagine her losing, let alone facing a difficult challenge at flyweight anytime in the near future. While Chookagian will have a significant height advantage and implores an awkward style, it’s hard to imagine a legitimate path to victory. Shevchenko really is that good and can win a fight any way she chooses to.

Wise on why Bektic will win: The once promising prospect from Bosnia gets another chance to showcase his skills on Saturday night against another fast-rising fighter in Ige. Bektic was once on the title trajectory before Darren Elkins and Josh Emmett derailed the hype train. While Ige has some insane power and finishing ability, I find it hard to figure a path to victory for the Hawaiian without getting an early stoppage. Look for Bektic to control the fight with his pace and aggressiveness and grind out a tough decision victory. 

Wise on why Lewis will win: It’s always tough to bet against a fighter in front of his hometown fans. It’s also tough to bet against him when he’s fighting a light heavyweight making his heavyweight debut fresh off back-to-back losses and searching for a career rebirth. Look for Lewis to go head hunting early in this fight and stuff some takedown attempts from the Swede before getting a stoppage in the second.

Who will win Reyes vs. Jones? And how exactly will each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight, all from the expert who’s up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.





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