MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 247, a five-round light heavyweight title bout between champion Jon Jones and challenger Dominick Reyes. The event takes place on Saturday, February 8 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Jon Jones (-450)
Jones (25-1,1 NC) is the UFC light heavyweight champion and arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. The 32-year-old American has been an absolute force ever since entering the Octagon in 2008 with an incredible 19-1, 1 NC record in the UFC while fighting elite opponents the entire time. Some of his notable wins include Daniel Cormier, Ryan Bader, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Rashad Evans Lyoto Machida, Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, Glover Teixeira and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. His lone loss was a controversial DQ to Matt Hamill in 2009. Jones is, quite simply, the most well-rounded fighter in the sport. On the feet he is blessed with an incredibly-long reach and no one uses distance control better than Jones to pick apart his opponents from range. He has an incredible wrestling game and on the mat he is able to submit his opponents or smash them with vicious ground and pound. Jones has dealt with numerous issues outside the cage that have at times derailed his career but anytime he steps into the Octagon he get to witness something special. If he beats Reyes, maybe he will finally consider moving up to 205lbs.
Dominick Reyes (+360)
Reyes (12-0) is one of the top contenders in the UFC light heavyweight division. The 30-year-old American is a perfect 6-0 so far in the Octagon with notable wins over Chris Weidman, Volkan Oezdemir, Ovince Saint Preux, and Jared Cannonier. Reyes is a big 205lber with a long reach and he utilizes that well to pick apart his opponents from range and knock them out. He has seven wins by knockout which shows just how much KO power he has. He also has an underrated ground game and can submit his opponents if it gets there. Reyes has looked great so far in the UFC and he now gets his chance to fight the GOAT and win the title. If he can pull off the upset he will immediately jump into the list of the very best fighters in the sport.
Fight Breakdown: This is going to be a fantastic fight between the GOAT and a very capable challenger in Reyes. I’ve picked Reyes in all of his fights so far in the UFC so I know just how good he is, but that being said, it’s very hard to pick against Jones. The guy has been a money train for over a decade and it’s just impossible to pick against him considering how well-rounded he is and how much experience he has. It’s hard to say how Jones will win this fight just because we haven’t seen Reyes in much danger yet, but considering Jones has gone the distance in his last few fights, my predicition is that Jones will outpoint his opponent and take it the distance for a decision win.
Prediction: Jon Jones wins via unanimous decision