7 takeaways from UFC 247
Feb. 09, 2020
Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title with a razor-thin decision win over Dominick Reyes in the UFC 247 main event on Saturday night at Toyota Center in Houston.
Also on the card, women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko dominated Katlyn Chookagian by third-round TKO.
Here are seven takeaways from the event.
Jones' fights are getting closer and closer
Jones retained the light heavyweight title for the 11th overall time in his fight versus Reyes. There's no questioning his longevity at the top and his dominance.
That said, this is Jones' second fight in a row that many people scored in favor of the challenger, and there's reason to believe this will be a trend in the 32-year-old's bouts moving forward.
Jones has been fighting since he was 20, and he first won the belt in 2011 at the age of 23. He's essentially cleaned out the 205-pound weight class twice, which is an incredible feat. But he's been fighting for a long time, and that has to have taken a toll on his body.
Jones won the fight Saturday, but Reyes gave him a run for his money. So did Thiago Santos last July. And Jones didn't exactly put on the performance of a lifetime against Anthony Smith last March, either.
After his showing against Reyes, it's clear that Jones is a different fighter than he was three or four years ago. He could simply be fighting more cautiously, which leads to more competitive bouts, or he could indeed be slowing down.
I'm not saying Jones will lose his next fight or will never win again. Far from it. I just don't think his first official loss since 2009 is all that far away.
No one can beat Shevchenko at 125 pounds
By finishing Chookagian in the third round, Shevchenko further proved that no one in the division will beat her anytime soon - or even come close.
Shevchenko defended her title for the third time, and it was the most dominant win of her championship reign at 125 pounds. She had a very solid start to the contest, as she found her range early and didn't let Chookagian get going.
And in the third frame, all it took was a takedown and a quick move into the crucifix position to get the job done. From there, Shevchenko battered the challenger with ground-and-pound until the referee stepped in.
"Bullet" was a giant favorite heading into the bout, and that'll always be the case as long as Shevchenko is defending her belt. A trilogy fight with Amanda Nunes at bantamweight would be much more competitive, but don't expect to see Shevchenko lose in her weight class in the near future.
3rd-round Lewis is a dangerous man
Derrick Lewis seemed to be a minute away from losing his heavyweight bout against Ilir Latifi, but then he let "The Black Beast" loose. Lewis attacked Latifi, who up until that point was winning the third round due to his takedowns, with everything he had.
The Texas native didn't finish Latifi, but he racked up enough damage in that last minute to earn the round and thus the fight. The bout was tied heading into the final frame.
The contest was relatively slow during the first 14 minutes, but the heat turned up in a big way once Lewis flipped the switch. The 35-year-old, who's recently improved his conditioning, proved once again that he's one of the most dangerous fighters in the third round and beyond. Lewis has won three UFC fights in the third round or later.
Adams needs more seasoning
Juan Adams lost to Justin Tafa via first-round TKO, which marked his third straight loss. "The Kraken" entered the UFC in late 2018 with some promise, but it's clear he needs more seasoning. The 28-year-old is 1-3 in the Octagon.
Adams moved to the renowned Jackson-Wink MMA camp ahead of the fight versus Tafa, and while that's guaranteed to make him a better fighter, it'll take time. He should go back to the regional circuit, and if he picks up a few wins, I'm sure he'd be welcomed back to the big leagues. Adams still has potential, but he's had a tough road in the UFC - getting in a few more fights against lesser competition will only help his career.
There are studs, then there's Krause
UFC welterweight James Krause went to Houston to corner two of his teammates at UFC 247. A day before the event, he agreed to fight Trevin Giles at middleweight - 15 pounds heavier than he usually fights at - after Giles' original opponent was taken off the card due to a medical issue.
Not only was Krause willing to compete on a day's notice, but he also took it to Giles. Without any sort of a training camp, Krause nearly won the contest, losing a narrow split decision in the featured preliminary bout.
Krause came close to submitting Giles in the first round, and while he got dominated in the second, he had a good start to the third. Krause ultimately lost the second half of the final frame - and the fight - but he showed an incredible amount of heart.
Murphy one win away from title shot
Lauren Murphy upset Andrea Lee in a women's flyweight bout and moved one step closer to a shot at UFC gold.
The fight went to a split decision, and regardless of how you feel about the result, Murphy ultimately got the nod. She called out Roxanne Modafferi afterward, but I think she should fight Joanne Calderwood for the next crack at champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Murphy has only won two in a row, but there aren't many contenders at women's 125 pounds. Calderwood is also coming off a win over Lee, and her only recent loss is to Chookagian, who challenged Shevchenko for the belt Saturday, so Murphy-Calderwood makes a lot of sense as a title eliminator.
It wasn't the judges' night
Texas has made itself known for its controversial officiating in MMA over the years, and the state had another bad night.
In the main event, judge Joe Soliz scored the fight 49-46 for Jones, which sparked some anger on social media. Many pundits scored the fight for Reyes but admitted it was close. However, Jones taking four of five rounds seemed unreasonable.
In earlier action, Jonathan Martinez dominated Andre Ewell in the third round of their bantamweight fight, yet somehow Soliz scored the tilt 30-27 for Ewell. Ewell walked away with a split-decision win - which is bad enough, as 12 of 13 media members on MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Martinez, but awarding him all three rounds is next-level robbery.
To make matters worse, all three judges - even the one who scored the fight 29-28 for Martinez - had the third round in Ewell's favor.
Also on the card, Murphy defeated Lee via split decision. All 12 media members on MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Lee. This didn't seem as bad of a score to me, as it was a close fight and the scorecards were sure to be all over the place, but the fact that one judge had it 30-27 for Murphy is atrocious.
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