HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Opponents Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes face off during the UFC … [+]
The first two UFC title fights of 2020 take place on Saturday when the promotion pays its first visit to Toyota Center in Houston, Texas in a little more than three years. At the top of the card, UFC 247, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones faces Dominick Reyes and women’s flyweight titleholder Valentina Shevchenko matches up against Katlyn Chookagian.
Jones’ recent title defense came in July when he earned a split-decision victory over Thiago Santos. Before that, every one of Jones’ wins came via stoppage or unanimous decision. Jones’ sole career loss was a disqualification setback for illegal elbows back in 2009.
Reyes signed with the UFC in 2017 on the strength of three straight first-round knockout wins. He continued to wrap things up early in his first three outings with the UFC. Reyes did not enter the second round in those three scraps. In his final bout of 2018 and his first matchup of 2019, Reyes went the distance. In his most recent outing, Reyes scored a first-round knockout win over former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The victory punched Reyes’ ticket to a title fight. He is 12-0 as a pro.
Shevchenko began her UFC career in 2015 as a bantamweight. She went 3-2 at 135 pounds and fought once for the women’s bantamweight crown. She dropped a split decision to Amanda Nunes in that 2017 matchup. Her other loss was a unanimous decision setback to Nunes.
Shevchenko moved down to 125 pounds in 2018. She won the vacant flyweight title in her second outing at 125 pounds when she defeated former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk by decision. In her first defense of the title, Shevchenko scored one of the best knockout wins of 2019 when she stopped Jessica Eye with a memorable head kick. Shevchenko is currently 4-0 at flyweight and coming off a five-round decision win over Liz Carmouche in August.
Like the champion, Chookagian began her UFC career at 135 pounds. After she put together a 2-1 record at bantamweight, Chookagian dropped to 125 pounds. She is 4-1 at flyweight. Chookagian’s most recent win came in November when she defeated Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision. She is on a two-fight winning streak entering Saturday’s title fight.
Also appearing on the UFC 247 card is fan favorite Derrick Lewis. Lewis, a former heavyweight title challenger, meets Ilir Latifi on the PPV card. Latifi is moving up from the light heavyweight division after two straight losses.
UFC 247 Pay-Per-View Card (ESPN+, 10 P.M. ET)
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
Mirsad Bektić vs. Dan Ige
Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi
UFC 247 Preliminary card (ESPN, 8 PM ET)
Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Arroyo
Alex Morono vs. Kalinn Williams
Lauren Murphy vs. Andrea Lee
UFC 247 Early Prelim card (ESPN+, Fight Pass, 6:15 P.M. ET)
Miles Johns vs. Mario Bautista
Journey Newson vs. Domingo Pilarte
Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez
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