The Light Heavyweight title is on the line
Arguably one of the greatest light heavyweights in UFC®history, Jon ‘Bones’ Jones steps out for his 22nd UFC career bout against No.4 ranked contender, the surging Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes. Fighting out of Rochester, New York, ‘Bones’ puts his crown on the line again after successfully defending it last July in a split decision victory against Thiago Santos. Pound for pound king, there is no denying that Jon Jones is still defeating the best of the best where not many have come close to dethroning him.
‘The Devastator’ Reyes is unbeaten in 12 fights and is one of the top contenders in the division. The former American football defensive back has quickly risen to the top of the light heavyweight division in just six UFC fights after signing in 2017. Reyes did not even need the second round in his first three fights as he wrapped up proceedings early with knockout wins. After going the distance in his fourth and fifth match ups, Reyes defeated former middleweight champion Chris Weidman in his most recent fight to demonstrate his physical versatility – striking his ticket to a shot at the light heavyweight title against Jones. The mix of Reyes’ speed against Jones’ finesse inside the Octagon ensures the fight is set to be a must watch main event.
In the evening’s co-main event, we have flyweight queen Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko putting her belt on the line against No.1 ranked contender, Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian. Having begun her UFC career as a bantamweight, Kyrgyzstan-born Shevchenko won the flyweight title in her second bout in the division against Joanna Jedrzejczyk and successfully defended it after stopping Jessica Eye with an incredible victory. With a 66” reach southpaw stance, Bullet currently has a record of 4 wins and 0 losses at flyweight and will undoubtedly be eager to get back in the Octagon®after coming off the back of a five-round decision win over Liz Carmouche in August 2019.
Similarly, Chookagian also began her UFC career at bantamweight with the Pennsylvanian fighter making her debut in 2016, winning via unanimous decision against Lauren Murphy. The American then dropped down to 125lb and proceeded to build an impressive record of 4-1. An orthodox fighter, Chookagian has a 4” reach advantage over Shevchenko which she will surely take advantage of, mixed with the “Blonde Fighter’s” boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighting style. Chookagian also comes off the back of a victory and two-fight win streak, meaning the match-up between the two flyweights will be an all-action affair. Shevchenko thrills the crowds and brings fireworks every time she steps in the Octagon. Can the impressive skills of Chookagian defeat the champ or will Shevchenko prove she’s the flyweight queen?
Latifi takes on the heavyweight division
They say everything is bigger in Texas, but on Saturday, it will be the heavyweight contest between Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis and Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi that epitomises the folklore. Hailing from Malmö, Sweden, Ilir Latifi makes his debut in the heavyweight division in the opening fight of the UFC® 247 main card. Before weighing in at 205lb, Latifi was electric at light heavyweight. Now packing extra muscle without a weight cut, the Swede will surely look to cause an upset against Lewis and capitalise on the underdog label he carries going into the fight.
Lewis however, will not be an easy opponent as he towers over Latifi with a 5” height and 55lb weight advantage. He has always had the ability to cover distance quickly but will be mindful of his opponent’s powerful striking skills, as Latifi tends to use this to his advantage. The ‘Black Beast’ knows he’ll need to neutralise the Swede’s energy in the Octagon to obtain a victory. This is going to be a thrilling encounter.
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko vs. Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian
Juan “The Kraken” Adams vs. Justin “Bad Man” Tafa
Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan “50k” Ige
Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis vs. Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi
Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Arroyo
Alex “The Great White” Morono vs. Kalinn “Khaos” Williams
Lauren “Lucky” Murphy vs. Andrea “KGB” Lee
Miles “Chapo” Johns vs. Mario Bautista
Domingo “Son of Fire” Pilarte vs. Journey Newson
Andre “Mr. Highlight” Ewell vs. Jonathan “Dragon” Martinez
Austin “Lights Out” Lingo vs. Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” Zalal