UFC 247 Expert Prediction: Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes

Saturday, February 8th, 2020, will be UFC 247.  The night will be a week prior to Valentine’s Day, but there will be anything but love in the air on February 8th.  The main event features Jon “Bones” Jones against Dominick “Devastator” Reyes.  Both fighters are going into the match fresh off of victories, but how they won, and how they fight, will determine who wins this battle on February 8th.

Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes Analysis

Jones is a mass-striker.  He attempts and lands a lot of his strikes.  Jones stands at 6’4”, and has a 84.5-inch reach, so he can easily tag his opponents from a distance.  Jones has 25 wins, 10 by knockout, so obviously the power aspect looms large. 

Dominick Reyes has less experience at 12-0, but 7 of those wins have come via the knockout so Jones had better keep his distance.

While Jones has won his last 2 fights by decision, he has vastly more octagon experience than Reyes.  Reyes clearly has striking power to end any match quickly and instantly but has shown a tendency to struggle against more experienced fighters, which will be an issue in the octagon against Jones. Jones’s overall striking will be the downfall of Reyes in this match.  Jones wins in the 3rd round via Knockout. 

Jon Jones Recent Fights

Jon Jones last fought in the octagon on July 6, 2019, in UFC 239 against Thiago Santos.  Jones won the 5 round fight in a decision over Santos.  While the decision might suggest a close encounter between the two, the numbers will indicate otherwise.  Jones dominated Santos by landing 66% of his total strikes, and Santos could only manage to tag Jones 26% of the time.  It should be noted, however, that neither fighter had a takedown, with Jones failing on the only attempt in the match.  

At UFC 235, Jones won a decision over Anthony Smith in 5 rounds. Jones threw and connected on many of his attempts to strike Smith.  Jones landed 238/287 strikes (83%) compared to Smith landing on 45 out of 75 of his attempts to strike Jones.  Jones also had 8 attempts at taking down Smith, having success on 3 of them.

Dominick Reyes Recent Fights

Dominick Reyes’ result of his last fight was much more impressive than Jones’ last fight.  Reyes scored a KO of Chris Weidman at UFC on ESPN 6, on October 18, 2019. Weidman had the only successful take down of the night, but he failed 3 other times.  Reyes only needed to connect on one of his 12 strikes to win in a KO/TKO at 1:43 of round 1.  73% of Reyes’ strikes were significant, with the final blow being the finishing touch.

Reyes won a decision over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 147 back on March 16, 2019, in 3 rounds. Reyes took on a much more experienced combatant in Oezdemir thus could not put him away fully.  Reyes connected on only 38% of his strike attempts, but Oezdemir fared 5% better landing 43% of his total strikes on Reyes.  Reyes was also taken down 1 out of 7 times by Oezdemir, meanwhile failing on his only 2 attempts.  

UFC 247 – Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes Pick

Jones typically strikes often, and Reyes is not known for his striking.  Jones has a 7.5” advantage with reach, meaning he can keep his distance, and land multiple strikes. Jones’s last 2 fights were decisions with lots of striking.  Reyes relies on knocking out an opponent early, and that will be problematic against the more experienced Jones.  Jones will tag Reyes from safe distances, with leg-kicks, and jabs, plus he will attempt the occasional takedown, all the while wearing Reyes down throughout the fight.  Jones wins in a decision over Reyes. 

Other UFC 247 Main Card Predictions

Not only can we look forward to seeing Jon Jones in the Octagon again, but there will be many more exciting fights to watch.

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian

Much of the talk is surrounding Jones vs Reyes, as it should surrounding a main event.  There is, however, another main event.  

Katlyn “The Blonde Fighter”  Chookagian will be challenging the champion Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko in the other main event.  Chookagian has the advantage over Shevchenko in height, leg and arm reach, but the champ has won over half of her matches by submission or knockout.

Prediction: Shevchenko retains her title with a TKO of Chookagian in the 2nd round.

Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa

Juan Adams of the United States faces Justin Tafa of New Zealand in a heavyweight match on the undercard.  Adams has a significant advantage over Tafa in arm and leg reach, and height.  Neither fighter has much experience, but Adams should be able to use his reach to land strikes and avoid the power of the stalkier Tafa and take the fight in a decision.

Prediction: Tafa by decision

Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige

In a battle of Featherweights, #14 ranked Mirsad Bektic squares off against Dan Ige.  Neither fighter has an advantage physically.  Both are approximately the same height, and share the same amount of reach distance.  Bektic has won half of his fights by knocking out his opponents, but Ige has half of his victories coming through submissions.  What it will come down to is who will be able to take advantage of mistakes made?

Prediction: Bektic wins a narrow decision over Ige.

Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi

This heavyweight fight between 2 ranked fighters should be very interesting and entertaining.  Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis #6, takes on #12 ranked Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi.  Nicknames aside, these two heavies will not be showing off their technical skills and ground striking abilities.  Lewis is 5 inches taller than Latifi, weighs 55 pounds more than Latifi, and has almost a 6” reach advantage.  82% of Lewis’ matches have ended with him knocking out his opponent.  Look for more of the same in this undercard throw down between heavyweights.

Prediction: Lewis knocks out Ilir in the 1st round.  

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