Another champion will put their title on the line, as Valentina Shevchenko takes on Katlyn Chookagian in the Women’s flyweight division. Derrick Lewis is a real fan favourite and will also feature, fighting against Sweden’s Ilir Latifi.
If you want to watch UFC 247, you can tune in by going to ESPN+ online or through the television. There are also a number of other great fights coming up on the UFC schedule, including Khabib vs Ferguson in April.
Will Reyes dethrone Jon Jones?
Jon Jones (1.25) vs Dominick Reyes (4.20)
Jon “Bones” Jones is arguably one of the greatest fighters ever to compete in the UFC. His record speaks for itself, he hasn’t lost since 2009 and will look to dominate the fight in true Jon Jones fashion.
Jones defends his belt against Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes, who carries a 12-0 record into this bout. The fact Reyes has never lost, while jones has will certainly be a talking point leading up to the event.
Despite this minor detail, there will be few commentators and pundits who feel Jones is anything but the favourite in this one. He’s an extremely well-rounded fighter, boasting an 84.5-inch reach, he uses his physicality to neutralize his opponents, while consistently throwing strikes with devastating accuracy.
Reyes has a lethal left hand. Of his twelve wins, he’s ended seven by knockout. Reyes was quite mouthy at a press conference back in November, which historically hasn’t gone well for Jones’s contenders - with both Gustafsson and Cormier getting knocked out.
The UFC betting sites heavily favour Jon Jones for this bout and we tend to agree, given his record at this level. What can be expected against the best UFC fighter in the world?
Take Jon Jones to win this one.
To beat Dominick Reyes
To win by KO/TKO
Derrick Lewis (1.36) vs Ilir Latifi (3.10)
Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis is a hilarious fighter. He’s become a kind of cult hero within the MMA community. His candid and heartfelt post-fight interviews, coupled with his ability inside the octagon make him one to watch.
Derrick last fought back in November, when he took a split-decision win over Blagoy Ivanov. The victory ended a 2-game losing streak for the big man. We love seeing Lewis fight, so we had to include him in our UFC free picks.
Lewis has always struggled with his conditioning, which has affected his ability to fight properly in the later rounds. In his last fight, he appeared to have addressed the issue as he looked to have lost weight and fought more intelligently, conserving energy.
Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi will make his heavyweight debut in Houston. He enters this bout looking to snap a two-game losing skid, having lost out to Volkan Oezdemir and Corey Anderson in his previous two fights.
This bout will be a real battle. Latifi is very active in the cage, constantly bouncing around and moving about waiting for an opening. But Lewis’s size and power could counteract Latifi when the two fighters are up close and personal - we certainly think so.
Take Derrick Lewis to win.
To beat Ilir Latifi
Valentina Shevchenko (1.07) vs Katlyn Chookagian (8.00)
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko made the decision to the flyweight division after a lot of deliberation. It’s evident from her 4-0 record in this weight class that it was a smart decision from her team.
Shevchenko boasts a broad arsenal of strikes, specializing in muay thai, taekwondo, boxing and kickboxing. She isn’t bad on the floor either and actually has more submissions on record than KO/TKO.
Though she has lost to Amanda Nunes conceding the fight on both occasions via decision. Few contenders have beaten Nunes throughout her career, so it’s worth taking the losses with a pinch of salt.
She’ll be up against Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian, who will enter the octagon riding a two-fight winning streak. She goes 6-2 in the UFC and it’s worth noting the only losses came via split decision.
Chookagian is an able striker too, but she’ll look to counter rather than the aggressor. If she times things perfectly, she has the power to floor Shevchenko - but Valentina is a very smart fighter, she’ll know what Katlyn wants to do.
Take Valentina Shevchenko to win here.
To beat Katlyn Chookagian