UFC 247 RECAP: #AndStillx2

Photo via Thomas Shea/ USA TODAY Sports

A fantastic night of fights overshadowed by terrible judging. 

 

After Jon Jones defeated Dominick Reyes by Unanimous Decision which concluded the main card, Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz did their closing recap as usual. Immediately, the topic was the puzzling 49-46 that one of the judges of the main event, Joe Soliz, gave in favor of Jon Jones. Rogan and Cruz went on for quite a bit on how there shouldn’t be different rules depending on what state the fights are in and how scoring should be. This wasn’t the only fight that Joe Soliz completely botched. In the Prelims, he judged the Jonathan Martinez vs Andre Ewell, which Ewell won via split decision. He gave Andre Ewell a 30-27 advantage. Watch the fight and tell me if the won the fight 30-27. An awful night by Joe Soliz. 

 

Other than the terrible judging, like I said, we had a fantastic night of fights. Valentina Shevchenko asserted her dominance and defended the Women’s Flyweight strap against Katlyn Chookagian, Derrick Lewis fought in his home state and got the decision win over Ilar Latifi, and Trevin Giles vs James Krause gave us an instant classic and won $50k bonuses for fight of the night. Let’s break down the main card.

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Photo via Esther Lin/ MMA FIghting

Heavyweight Bout: #6 Derrick Lewis defeats Ilir Latifi via unanimous decision 

Derrick Lewis is fighting in his home state. He’s already a big fan favorite, and now that he’s fighting in his state of Texas, he has all the momentum behind him. The Black Beast was flying out there. Throwing flying knees, high kicks, switch kicks. Always expect fireworks from Lewis. But Latifi put up a great fight. He ate everything that Lewis threw at him and took Lewis down. Ilar is one strong dude and a great wrestler and really showed it in the fight. Derrick went for the home run like always, and just couldn’t find it. I had it 29-28 Lewis, and that was the result. 

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Photo via Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

Featherweight Bout: Dan Ige defeats Mirsad Bektic via split decision

If you went with my pick here, you would’ve cashed out. This could’ve been fight of the night. Dan Ige came into this fight on a 4-fight win streak and a betting underdog. He dominated the 1st round. It looked like while Bektic was trying to figure out his length and feel the fight out, Ige was pushing and landing hard heavy shots. 2nd round comes and Bektic is looking fresh and renewed. Showed great ground work and actually almost gives Ige a kimura. The 3rd round was closer, but I gave the nod to Ige. I had 29-28 in favor of Ige and so did the judges. 

MMA: UFC 247-Adams vs Tafa
Photo via Thomas Shea/ USA TODAY Sports

Heavyweight Bout: Justin Tafa knocks out Juan Adams in 1st Round

It’s what we expect out of heavyweights right? There’s not much to break down here. Both Adams and Tafa trade body kicks in the first few seconds. After a little feeling out and whiffs, Tafa connects with an uppercut and rings Adams’s bell. No more strikes were thrown. Adams was done. Impressive stuff from Justin Tafa.

chook
Photo via Josh Hedges/ Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Women’s Flyweight Championship Bout: #C Valentina Shevchenko TKO’s #1 Katlyn Chookagian in 2nd Round

I’m running out of words to describe Valentina Shevchenko. Credit to Chookagian, she showed her usual bounce and was throwing often. She even ate the most beautiful spinning back kick from Valentina that I’ve ever seen and acted like it didn’t even happen. Only problem was, she wasn’t landing anything significant. Valentina is just too good. She counter struck to perfection and fought a beautiful fight. She opened up Katlyn while she was in full guard and landed a nasty elbow. Rounds 1 and 2 go to Bullet, and then round 3 is when Valentina catches a kick by Katlyn, proceeds to a trip that led right into a crucifix. Valentina starts pounding away at her face and the ref calls it. Valentina, dominant than ever, finishes Katlyn Chookagian in round 3 via ground strikes and retains her flyweight strap. 

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Photo via Josh Hedges/ Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: #C Jon Jones defeats #4 Dominick Reyes via Unanimous Decision

Let me start off by tipping my hat to Dominick Reyes. Everyone, including myself, thought Jon Jones is unbeatable. In many people’s opinions and scorecards, he was beat here. Reyes was quick, confident, big and ready to win. Unfortunately, this amazing fight was outlasted because of terrible judging on Joe Soliz’s behalf. I don’t think one person had either fighter winning more than 3 rounds, but this douche did. He ruled the fight 49-46 in favor of Jon Jones, which means he won 4 out of the 5 rounds. Of course, Soliz’s opinion is the only one that matters. He really should owe the UFC and Dominick Reyes an apology. Joe Rogan absolutely drug him through the dirt after the fight concluded, and deservedly so. There’s no excuse for that.

Anyway, the fight did happen, and it was gorgeous. Reyes looked like the better fighter in the first round. He struck with accuracy and defended almost every takedown Jones attempted. He’d throw everything at Jones’s way, and even if it connected, Jon continued to push forward and advance nearly the entire fight. The first 3 rounds easily could’ve gone Reyes’s way. Yeah, he was that good. The championship rounds started, and Jon came alive. Reyes was noticeably starting to gas out, and Jon did his thing. Round 4, Jones finally earns a takedown, which ultimately resulted in Reyes getting right back up. He was striking and defending better rounds 4 and 5. The final horn goes, and the fight is over. Bruce Buffer is reading out the scores and announces the 49-46. If you follow me on Twitter, in a tweet I said that I had Jones, but can see Reyes as well. Knowing past championship bouts, the champion is usually favored in close matches like this, and ultimately why I gave Jones the win. Jones gets the unanimous decision win and cements himself as the GOAT. 

 

What’s Next?

Make the damn rematch NOW. Make it in Vegas, make it happen. Dominick Reyes should move up in the rankings after this. Give me Jones vs Reyes 2. Jones hasn’t been tested like this since the first Alex Gustaffsson fight. It needs to happen again, and it needs to happen in Vegas. 

Valentina needs to fight the winner of Wieli Zhang vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk or move up and give us Nunes vs Shevchenko 2. No one can beat her in her current weight class. It’s true. Not Chookagian, not Jessica Eye, not Roxanne Modafferi, not anyone. The only real threat to her, Maycee Barber, is out for majority of the 2020 season with a torn ACL. Hell, can anyone in any weight class beat Valentina (ignore this if you’re reading Amanda Nunes)? On Instagram, Henry Cejudo did say he’s next in line though. 

Dan Ige needs to crack the Featherweight rankings. 5 wins in a row and an impressive win over Mirsad Bektic. He looked like he has what it takes to contend for the strap. I’d love to see Ige vs Frankie Edgar next. 

Derrick Lewis vs Greg Hardy. It has to be made. It can headline a fight night card or be the co-main in a PPV. Two big beasts of a man trying to take each other’s head off. Tell me that wouldn’t be great. Say it.

 

Next Card: UFC Fight Night 167 Anderson vs Blachowicz February 15, 2020

The next fight card will feature #5 ranked LHW Corey Anderson vs #6 Jan Blachowicz. This card can be seen on ESPN+ starting at 8:00PM EST.

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