HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes face off during the UFC 247 … [+]
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UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will attempt to defend his title for the 11th time on Saturday night in Houston, Texas at UFC 247. The undefeated Dominick Reyes provides the opposition in the main event.
Reyes is attempting to hand Jones his first legitimate defeat in the Octagon, and in doing so, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.
The weigh-ins are done. The card is set, and the near-final odds picture is in place.
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 07: (L-R) Trevin Giles and James Krause face off during the UFC 247 … [+]
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Every fighter initially weighed in successfully. However, after Antonio Arroyo experienced post weigh-in cramping, ESPN reports, UFC doctors pulled him from his bout with Trevin Giles.
James Krause, who was already in Houston and set to corner Youssef Zalal in his fight with Austin Lingo, volunteered to step in on extremely short notice. He weighed in at 183.5 pounds, and was cleared to face Giles.
Krause has never fought at 185 pounds in his UFC career, and according to fight records on Tapology, it appears this is the first time he’s ever competed above the welterweight limit.
No matter, Krause is apparently prepared to make “gangster” moves:
Krause’s willingness to step in has made a preliminary bout a little more interesting. If you’re wondering how well Krause will perform against Giles, I spoke with Sherdog’s veteran MMA analyst Anthony Walker, and he offered this take on the matchup:
“I can’t say I’m optimistic about his [Krause’s] chances just because of the timeframe and weight difference. Krause, who was a lightweight, and a smaller welterweight jumping up to 185 is crazy. But he stays in good shape, so I doubt cardio becomes a problem. If you’re into prop bets, Giles has dropped his last two by guillotine and Krause has collected a few necks in his career.”
Here is what other members of the media had to say:
I’d say I agree with Walker, but I’m also on board with everyone who is giving Krause props for taking on the challenge. In all, it’s likely a strong career move. Krause has collected great press and even more respect from his peers than he already had for taking this fight.
Here is a look at all of the weigh-in results:
- (c) Jon Jones (204) vs. Dominick Reyes (205) – UFC light heavyweight title
- (c) Valentina Shevchenko (124.5) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (124.5) UFC women’s flyweight title
- Juan Adams (266) vs. Justin Tafa (265.5)
- Mirsad Bektic (145) vs. Dan Ige (145.5)
- Ilir Latifi (246.5) vs. Derrick Lewis (261.5)
- Antonio Arroyo (186) vs. Trevin Giles (185.5)
- Andrea Lee (125.5) vs. Lauren Murphy (125)
- Alex Morono (171) vs. Kalinn Williams (169)
- Mario Bautista (135) vs. Miles Johns (135)
- Journey Newson (135.5) vs. Domingo Pilarte (135.5)
- Andre Ewell (135.5) vs. Jonathan Martinez (136)
- Austin Lingo (145.5) vs. Youssef Zalal (145.5)
Full Card, Odds, and Predictions
Let’s take a look at the odds for all of the bouts on the card. Odds per the DraftKings Sportsbook
- Austin Lingo (-230) vs. Youssef Zalal (+180) – Prediction: Lingo by TKO2
- Andre Ewell (-125) vs. Jonathan Martinez (+100) – Prediction: Martinez by SD
- Domingo Pilarte (-137) vs. Journey Newson (+100) – Prediction: Newson by TKO2
- Miles Johns (-137) vs. Mario Bautista (+100) – Prediction: Johns by UD3
- Alex Morono (-335) vs. Kalinn Williams (+250) – Prediction: Morono by SUB1
- Andrea Lee (-345) vs. Lauren Murphy (+260) – Prediction: Lee by UD3
- Derrick Lewis (-250) vs. Ilir Latifi (+195) – Prediction: Lewis by KO1
- Mirsad Bektic (-137) vs. Dan Ige (+110) – Ige by TKO2
- Juan Adams (-250) vs. Justin Tafa (+195) – Adams by TKO1
- Valentina Shevchenko (-1250) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+725) – Shevchenko by TKO2
- Jon Jones (-455) vs. Dominick Reyes (+340) – Jones by TKO3
Why Jones Wins
HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 07: Jon Jones steps on the scale during the UFC 247 ceremonial weigh-in at … [+]
Reyes is a big, strong, young and viable contender for the light heavyweight title.
He appears to have everything required to pose Jones a serious threat. However, Jones hasn’t proven to be beatable even when he isn’t in the best shape physically and emotionally against opponents like Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson.
Reyes is neither as experienced or as proven as either of those two former foes of Jones. Meanwhile, Jones is absolutely shredded and as motivated as I can remember heading into this fight. With his mind focused on continuing his legacy, I can’t see Reyes pulling the upset.
Why Shevchenko Wins
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 07: Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan poses on the scale during the UFC 247 … [+]
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Chookagian is a solid striker, but she lacks the power or chops on the ground to handle Shevchenko. The champion has multiple ways to finish a fight, and Chookagian’s path to a victory is seemingly through a five-round bout. If it goes the distance, Chookagian will need to keep Shevchenko on the outside for 25 minutes where the champion can’t utilize what will almost certainly be a strength and grappling advantage.
Too much needs to go in Chookagian’s favor to pull what would be a monumental upset. Shevchenko will retain.