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411’s UFC 247 Report: Jones Wins

February 9, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC 247

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
(c) Jon Jones (204 lbs.) vs. #4 Dominick Reyes (205 lbs.) – for light heavyweight title
(c) Valentina Shevchenko (124.5 lbs.) vs. #1 Katlyn Chookagian (124.5 lbs.) – for women’s flyweight title
Juan Adams (266 lbs.) vs. Justin Tafa (265.5 lbs.)
#14 Mirsad Bektic (145 lbs.) vs. Dan Ige (145.5 lbs.)
Ilir Latifi (246.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Derrick Lewis (261.5 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
James Krause (183.5 lbs.) vs. Trevin Giles (185.5 lbs.)
#8 Andrea Lee (125.5 lbs.) vs. #7 Lauren Murphy (125 lbs.)
Alex Morono (171 lbs.) vs. Kalinn Williams (169 lbs.)
Mario Bautista (135 lbs.) vs. Miles Johns (135 lbs.)

PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Journey Newson (135.5 lbs.) vs. Domingo Pilarte (135.5 lbs.)
Andre Ewell (135.5 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (136 lbs.)
Austin Lingo (145.5 lbs.) vs. Youssef Zalal (145.5 lbs.)


Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC 247. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the evening, relaying all of the action to you fine folks just as I see it. This card kicks off eight straight weeks of UFC action, and it’s not a great card. The main event is great as all time MMA great Jon Jones looks to extend his legacy of dominance against undefeated contender Dominick Reyes. A win here would be Jones’ record setting 14th win in UFC title fights, he’s currently tied with GSP at 13 for the top spot. The co-main event is also a title fight, but as someone who’s seen most of Katlyn Chookagian’s fights I’m not terribly excited about the prospect of her taking on champion Valentina Shevchenko for the women’s flyweight title. After that there’s a couple of heavyweight fights and I think my stance on that is well established at this point. Mirsad Bektic vs. Dan Ige is a pretty good fight on paper but after that it’s really slim pickings. That said there’s always the chance that we get great action in practice so let’s all really hope for that.

UFC 247 comes to the world from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, USA. On commentary we have Jon Anik, Joe Rogan, and Dominick Cruz. Megan Olivi will be handling side line reporting. As for the rules we’re fully old rules, so anything besides the soles of your feet on the mat means you’re downed in addition to the needlessly nebulous scoring language, in fact this state is so old school with the rules we will NOT have instant replay.

Austin Lingo is undefeated coming into his UFC debut, he’s looking to remain that way after the fight and score his first UFC win. Youssef Zalal is also making his UFC debut on this card, he’s coming off of a memorable flying knee KO and is hoping to make a good first impression on the UFC audience. Lingo is your favorite at -210 to +175 on Zalal.

Featherweight Bout: Austin Lingo (7-0, 145.5 lbs.) vs. Youssef Zalal (7-2, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Zalal has two inches of reach over Lingo. They touch gloves to get us going. Lingo looking to jab and close distance, Zalal circling and switching stances. A few jabs from Lingo land, Zalal with a knee to the body and they clinch up. Both men land kenes and they separate. Calf kick then a high kick from Zalal. Lingo still pressuring forward, he’s got some nice cage cutting. Zalal grabs a single leg and they wind up clinched on the fence. Lingo’s nose is bleeding, not sure what caused it. Lingo lands a right to the body as they break. Zalal lands another calf kick but he’s getting pressured into the fence. Lingo lands a straight right. Another clinch as Zalal tries a body lock takedown, he winds up holding a front headlock and lands a few knees before they break. Zalal with another takedown attempt, and again they’re clinched. Zalal seems to be using those takedown attempts to dissuade Lingo from coming forward but he’s still coming. Jumping knee from Zalal, and then he eats a couple of punches. Lingo lands a left and a right as they clinch up again. They break without incident. Zalal lands a kick to the knee, Lingo punches him in response. Single leg from Zalal, this time he’s able to finish it and get on top in the guard. Lingo kicks him off and they’re up in another clinch this time Lingo gets the back standing. Lingo finishes the takedown, Zalal is holding a kimura grip as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Zalal but a close one

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Lingo coming forward with his left, he lands a left hook. Zalal lands a leg kick and they wind up clinched again. The “woo’s” have arrived, God help us all. Zalal is after a takedown against the fence, he finishes one but Lingo is looking to wall walk. Zalal is trapping one of Lingo’s arms behind his back, he loses that grip though. Both men land elbows, and as Lingo looks to stand Zalal goes for a d’arce choke. Zalal is switching his grip now, Lingo is up but still in the headlock sequence. Zalal drops back for the d’arce, locks things up but Lingo is able to escape and separate. Head kick lands for Zalal. Short left lands for Lingo. Body lock takedown from Zalal, Lingo is fishing for a guillotine but he’s on the wrong hip and Zalal is mostly in half guard. Zalal passes all the way to half guard and lands a few elbows. Lingo back up but misses a right. A blocked head kick from Zalal will close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Zalal, 20-18 Zalal overall

ROUND THREE: Zalal misses a jumping knee then lands a leg kick. Lingo is coming forward still but he’s not punishing Zalal when he has to circle away from him. Zalal lands a knee, and Lingo lands an inside leg kick. Lingo lands a right to the body. Single leg from Zalal, and he’s got Lingo down then moves to side control. Lingo moves belly down, Zalal grabs a front headlock and moves to the ride position, Lingo then rolls and collects full guard. Zalal lands a couple of short elbows. Lingo back up, but still stuck in a front headlock. Zalal lands a couple of knees and looks to snap him down then goes for an anaconda choke but Lingo is defending so far. Zalal bails on that choke and Lingo separates. Lingo is coming forward again, Zalal jabs him. They wind up clinched but separate as Zalal tries a throw. Single leg from Zalal, Lingo doesn’t have any defense to that head outside single leg, and he winds up in another front headlock sequence. Zalal goes for a d’arce but it wont develop before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Zalal, 30-27 Zalal overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Solid enough debut from Zalal, who gets an interview. He’s very happy to be speaking with Joe Rogan, but he really wanted a finish and jokes he showed off his Dominick Cruz and DC sides. He says he’s cornered a bunch of UFC fighters and he’s appreciative of the chance to be fighting in the UFC, then thanks the UFC brass as well as his coaches.

Andre Ewell has gone 2-2 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss to Marlon Vera and is hoping to rebound here while avoiding his first UFC losing streak. Jonathan Martinez has gone 2-1 in the UFC thus far but is on a two fight winning streak and scored a great knockout win in his last fight, he’s hoping to get to three in a row here and prove himself a notable prospect in the division. The odds are with Ewell at -130 to and even -100 on Martinez.

Bantamweight Bout: Andre Ewell (15-6, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Jonathan Martinez (11-2, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height but Ewell has a notable five inch reach advantage. They touch gloves, both men are southpaws but Martinez does a lot of stance switching. Ewell actually opens orthodox, and lands a right after they trade some leg kicks. A few more kicks go back and forth. Martinez barely misses a high kick. Body kick from Martinez lands. Bit of a right lands for Ewell, both men still trying to find the range and timing. Body kick from Martinez hurts Ewell, he’s pressuring after him with leg kicks now. Ewell goes southpaw and tries a flurry that’s mostly blocked. Left to the body from Ewell, and another one. Another leg kick from Martinez then a knee. Martinez lands a front kick to the face, Ewell responds with a couple of punches. Double leg attempt from Martinez winds up in a clinch on the fence. A few knees from Martinez to the body but Ewell is staying upright so far. Knees to the thigh now from Martinez. Ewell seems kind of stuck here and Martinez is staying relatively busy. They finally break apart. We get a fire fight for the final couple of seconds and both men land flush hooks just as the horn sounds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez

ROUND TWO: Calf kick from Martinez to open the second round. Both men land punches then Martinez lands a knee. Martinez with a calf kick but Ewell responds with a combination of punches. Ewell lands the left to the body, he’s had a lot of success with that punch. Martinez lands a right hook to counter that punch then lands a calf kick. Knee to the body from Ewell. Flying knee from Ewell, he tries to follow up with more knees but Martinez backs him off with a left. Ewell with a left, then a right to the body and another left to the head. Ewell digs the body again. Martinez lands an inside leg kick. Martinez lands a front kick to the body, then a couple of punches to counter a body shot. Ewell lands a knee to counter a double leg attempt and looks to fire punches but Martinez’s defense continues to hold up. Calf kicks from Martinez now. Ewell ducks under a head kick and lands a couple of body shots. Martinez lands another front kick to the body, and another that again hurts Ewell to the body. Follow up punches from Martinez, Ewell is holding on but eats another calf kick while trying to circle. Martinez lands a left hook, then jabs and a calf kick that takes the legs from Ewell for a second. Ewell avoids a spinning back fist as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez, 20-18 Martinez overall

ROUND THREE: Both men come out kicking, Ewell is orthodox again to try and protect his right leg. Ewell lands a right to the body. There’s something wrong with Ewell’s right hand, might have broken it blocking a front kick. Martinez using that front kick to the body again, that right hand/forearm of Ewell is clearly injured, I think I can see a bump that wasn’t there before indicating a broken bone. Martinez is still coming forward and lands a calf kick. Another front kick to the body from Martinez. More leg kicks from Martinez as Ewell is struggling to find effective punches. More calf kicks from Martinez, Ewell lands a left hook. Martinez lands a knee then misses a front kick. Bit of a front kick to the face from Martinez. Another hard leg kick from Martinez lands. They get close and we get another fire fight for the final fifteen seconds or so to close a really engaging fight.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Martinez, 30-27 Martinez overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Andre Ewell via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

30-27 for Ewell is ridiculous after he got hurt badly in the second round. No interview for Ewell.

Here’s the end of the first round for reference.

Domingo Pilarte had a five fight winning streak snapped when he dropped a split decision of Felipe Colares last year in his UFC debut, now he’s looking to get his first UFC win under his belt. Journey Newson also lost his UFC debut when he battled Ricardo Ramos last year, now he’s trying to avoid his first ever losing streak and get that first UFC win. Pilarte closed at a slight -140 to +110 on Newson.

Bantamweight Bout: Journey Newson (9-2, 135.5 lbs.) vs. Domingo Pilarte (8-2, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Pilarte is seven inches taller and has six inches of reach advantage. Southpaw for Pilarte. Pilarte comes out quickly, lands a bit of a head kick. Pilarte backing Newson up, and Newson lands a heavy right and Pilarte goes down, he looks to unload on the mat and forces the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Journey Newson via TKO, punches, at :38 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Newson for his work this evening. Mic time for Newson, who just saved the broadcast potentially going long, he says he worked on the right a lot for fighting a southpaw opponent. He says he got a little dazed by the head kick but recovered and stuck to the game plan.

Here’s the finish. Pilarte comes in and feints a jab but doesn’t get his head off the center line, consequently the power right of Newson has an easy path to his jaw.

That wraps up early prelims, the next phase will be on ESPN as soon as a college basketball game ends and until then they’re on ESPN+ as well as I think ESPNNews.

Miles Johns is undefeated including a win in his UFC debut, now he’s hoping to remain perfect and start moving up in the world of the UFC. Mario Bautista has gone 1-1 in the UFC, but he is coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak. Johns is your -135 favorite against +105 on Bautista.

Bantamweight Bout: Mario Bautista (7-1, 135 lbs.) vs. Miles Johns (10-0, 135 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bautista is two inches taller and has three inches of reach over Johns. They touch gloves to get us going. Bautista feinting early and moving in and out. Johns avoids a few strikes but the constant movement and feints from Bautista is throwing him off so far. High kick from Bautista is blocked. Bit of a left from Bautista. Glancing right from Johns. Both men miss rights. Straight right from Bautista lands. Johns lands a jab. Johns lands a calf kick. Bautista with a punch and a head kick that both miss. Clubbing right form Johns off balances Bautista even though it was blocked. Bautista lands a jumping knee. Johns again with a right in close. Bautista with a right of his own then a knee attempt is blocked. Nothing much will happen before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Johns but who knows

ROUND TWO: Both men miss right hooks then Johns blocks some follow up offense and lands a calf kick. Johns with a bit of a left hook. Bautista lands a jab. Jumping knee from Bautista lands and drops Johns, he gets on top and flurries while Johns just covers up and the ref has to wave it off.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mario Bautista via TKO, flying knee and punches, at 1:41 of Round 2

Nice finish for Bautista, who now gets an interview. He says he wanted to prove he’s more than just a brawler and notes he got the finish by being judicious and calculating. He talks us through the finish and says it didn’t even feel like it landed but he saw Johns fall and went for the finish.

Have a look at this. Johns has a habit of ducking his head like this, Bautista feints to draw out the reaction and times the flying knee that leads to the finish.

Alex Morono has gone 6-2 with 1 No Contest in the UFC, he’s currently on a three fight winning streak and could take a step up in competition if he extends that to four in a row here. Kalinn Williams took this fight on short notice when Dhiego Lima fell out of the card, but he brings a six fight winning streak with him and now has the opportunity to take out a veteran of the UFC and announce himself to the wider UFC audience. Given the short notice opponent change it’s no surprise Morono is the -350 favorite but if you like your underdogs the +275 payout on Williams has to be a little tempting.

Welterweight Bout: Alex Morono (17-5 1 NC, 171 lbs.) vs. Kalinn Williams (9-1, 169 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Williams is an inch taller but has a significant five inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Williams misses a couple of punches. Both men land punches but Williams lands a left hook that wobbles Morono, they hit the fence and Williams unloads with punches then drops Morono with an uppercut and this one is all over.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kalinn Williams via KO, punches, at :27 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Williams for his work this evening. Mic time for Williams, he says it feels great to win then thanks God and the UFC as well as the crowd then says he’s the future and isn’t going anywhere. He says anyone who makes a mistake against him is going to pay when talking us through the finish.

Morono decides to engage in a fire fight with a man who seems to have superior fire power and pays the price rather quickly. Heck of a debut for Williams, and it should be noted that Houston MMA gym Fortis MMA is having a rough night so far.

Lauren Murphy has gone 3-4 in the UFC, she’s coming off of a win though and is looking for her first UFC winning streak. Andrea Lee just had a seven fight winning streak come to an end courtesy of a split decision against Joanne Calderwood, she’s looking to rebound and prove she’s still a viable contender in a division that could really use them. The odds are with Lee at -330 while a Murphy win would payout at +260.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: #8 Andrea Lee (11-3, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #7 Lauren Murphy (11-4, 125 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lee is an inch taller and has two and a half inches of reach advantage. Both women come out quickly, Lee settles things down with a left hook. Left hook then a right from Lee, she seems to already have a good feel for the range of the fight. Murphy is working her jab a bit more, Lee responds with kicks to the leg and body. Inside leg kicks from Lee then a right to the body. Lee with another leg kick then a straight right. Murphy lands another jab. Lee with a jab, these two definitely came to fight. Body kick from Lee then a left hook. Murphy is swinging hard but Lee is working a better diversity of strikes. Lee with a knee to the body after landing a leg kick. Left hook from Lee. That left body kick from Lee is still landing. Murphy lands a right. Head kick from Lee then a left hook but Murphy just eats them. Both women are marked up already, head movement isn’t much of a thing. They trade uppercuts. Lee with a left hook, Murphy responds. Lee lands an uppercut then avoids a superman punch. Right from Lee lands. They clinch up and trade knees then Lee hits a throw and might have landed an illegal knee but Murphy comes up on her knees and gets a takedown. Lee is looking for a wall walk, she’s up and the round will end in the clinch.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lee

ROUND TWO: Lee is pressuring forward a bit more this round. Both women back to jabbing, Lee lands a left hook. Leg kick from Lee. Jabs still being traded. Lee lands an inside leg kick. There’s an exchange of left hooks. Lee lands a body kick. The body work is starting to add up for Lee. They clinch up, bit of a knee from Murphy as they break. Lefts from lee land then a body kick. Right then a left from Lee and a couple of body shots as well. Murphy reaches for a double leg, they wind up clinched and Lee lands knees to the body before separating. Murphy lands a right then eats a body kick. Lee lands another body kick. High kick from Lee partially lands. Murphy blocks a high kick and they trade jabs. Lee is still attacking the body to set up her head strikes. Inside leg kick from Lee, Murphy gets a clinch on the fence. Lee is able to spin free and separate. Bit of a jab from Murphy, then they trade rights. More body shots from Lee. Double leg from Murphy, she gets it into the guard of Lee with about ten seconds left. The round will end in that spot.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lee, 20-18 Lee overall

ROUND THREE: Lee comes out jabbing again, and she lands a right. Inside leg kick from Lee lands. Lee lands a left hook. Murphy lands a jab. A couple of calf kicks from Lee land. Lee drops Murphy in mid air as Murphy jumped, then Lee tries to wrap up an anaconda choke. Murphy is working on getting to her knees, Lee keeps trying to angle and finish the choke. They hit the fence and Murphy comes up on top in the guard of Lee. Lee adjusts towards a guillotine while looking to set up a wall walk. Murphy gets her head free and Lee opens her guard. Lee kicks Murphy off and is up and free. They’re back to trading jabs. Lee with a 360 body kick than lands. Double leg attempt from Lee, switches to a single leg along the fence and they wind up clinched. They jockey for position, Lee with knees to the body then they break. Punches to the body from Lee, Murphy definitely felt that and they clinch up for the final couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lee, 30-27 Lee overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Lauren Murphy via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

OK, WTF is up with the judging tonight. It’s not just me is it? Those takedowns in rounds one and two meant nothing. Murphy on the mic now, she says the fight was bloody and competitive and she’s proud of herself and Lee. She jokes she’s never confident when judges are scoring fights. She believes the takedowns played a role in the scoring, thanks her camp, then says she’d like to fight Roxanne Modafferi in a few months.

Trevin Giles has gone 2-2 in the UFC and is currently on a two fight losing streak that he badly needs to reverse here. James Krause took this fight on just one days notice, he’s on an impressive six fight winning streak and is technically making his middleweight debut here but a win under these kinds of circumstances would be massive for his career. Krause is a slight -120 favorite despite the absurdly short notice while Giles’ comeback sits at -110.

Middleweight Bout: James Krause (27-7, 183.5 lbs.) vs. Trevin Giles (11-2, 185.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Krause is two inches taller while Giles has half an inch of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going. Krause lands a calf kick. One two from Giles is blocked. Another calf kick from Krause, Giles with hooks that are blocked but he’s got a serious advantage in power so far. Bit of a left from Giles, then a left. Krause has had enough of that and gets a takedown. Giles looks to wall walk, Krause gets his back with both hooks in. Krause is after the choke, he’s adjusting his grip as Giles tries to hand fight. Giles keeps trying to defend, Krause bails on that attempt and looks to reset. Krause looking to punch a bit to open up the choke but Giles is still defending well. Another choke attempt from Krause, this one is tighter but he’s too far on the side and Giles is able to slip free. Giles is able to spin into the guard of Krause despite being in a body triangle. Giles with some punches. Krause reaches for a single leg, Giles defends and they’re up and trading in the clinch. They trade some knees as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Krause

ROUND TWO: Giles tries a high kick that’s blocked. Bit of a calf kick from Krause, but he looks tired and given the circumstances of this fight I can’t blame him. High kick from Giles is blocked. Krause back to kicking the calf, Giles whiffs on an uppercut. Giles hisses a couple of punches. Right then a left from Giels land, Krause might be hurt. Krause is on the fence and Giles swings at him but Krause avoids most of it and clinches up. They break and Giles lands a right then a left and they clinch again. Bit of an elbow from Krause and he slips free. Giles lands a left hook. Left to the body from Giles. Krause tries a single leg, switches to a leg screw but winds up losing control and Giles is on top. Hammer fists from Giles. Krause tries to throw up a high guard and Giles slips free then passes to half guard. Giles lands a couple of rights. Armbar attempt from Krause but he’s got a bad angle and Giles punches through it and moves towards the back as Krause gets to his knees. More punches from Giles and he takes the back as the round ends, he looks for a choke, it’s tight but the bell will save Krause.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Giles, would be 10-8 under the new rules, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Giles with punches early. Krause lands a right but his legs are failing him due to fatigue. Bit of a leg kick from Krause, then a hard calf kick. Krause lands a right, and another one. Giles is just kind of standing, he might be more compromised than I thought. Krause lands another right. Another cal kick from Krause, Giles responds with a left hook. High kick from Krause then a left, Giles tries to clinch but Krause spins free. Left hook from Giles lands. Krause with a calf kick. Right then a left from Giles, Krause avoids a haymaker though and he’s back to pressure. Krause lands an elbow in the clinch. Giles misses a few punches as they break. Giles defends a takedown attempt, they trade short rights in the clinch then break. Krause forces a clinch after landing body shots then gets free. Krause avoids a few punches then lands a right. Another clinch, Giles with a left as they break. They trade rights and clinch again. Giles fails on a double leg, they trade knees to the body and then just hang on for the last couple of seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Giles but this one could go either way, 29-28 Giles overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Trevin Giles via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

Mic time for Giles, he says he’s disappointed he couldn’t have a full camp against his original opponent and that lack of preparedness is frustrating. He puts over Krause as a tough guy. He plays with the crowd a bit and gives love to his wife and son.

Krause also gets an interview, Rogan notes he took this fight on 24 hours notice and without a training camp, Krause is glad he could give Giles a good fight and step up for the card.

That’s it for preliminary action, on to PPV for the main card. They open with a brief tribute to the recently deceased Kobe Bryant and the others in the helicopter crash with him and ask for nine seconds of silence in memoriam.

Derrick Lewis has gone 1-2 in his last three fights, including a failed bid for the heavyweight title in 2018. Lewis was last seen in one of the worst fights from 2019 winning a split decision over Blagoy Ivanov, he’s hoping for a more fan friendly performance here. Ilir Latifi is on a two fight losing streak but he’s hoping to breathe some new life into his career by moving up to heavyweight for the first time since 2008. Lewis enjoys favored status according to the odds at -230 against a +185 comeback for Latifi.

Heavyweight Bout: Ilir Latifi (14-7 1 NC, 246.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Derrick Lewis (22-7 1 NC, 261.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Lewis is five inches taller and has five and a half inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get things going. some circling from Latifi, Lewis kind of pawing with the lead hand. Lewis misses a right and they clinch up. On the fence Lewis eats a few shots to the body and a right to the chin as they break. Jumping knee from Lewis results in another clinch, this time Latifi gets Lewis on the cage. Latifi is after a single leg, he elevates it but can’t finish and they resume clinching. A few body shots from Latifi but they’re stalling out and the ref breaks them. Lewis tries a head kick that’s mostly blocked. Front kick to the body from Lewis then a high kick that’s blocked and they both swing wild then clinch up. Lewis is back on the cage, Latifi tries another single leg but can’t finish it and has to settle for keeping the clinch. They break as Lewis blocks a left. Lewis tries another knee, misses and is clinched yet again as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Latifi I guess

ROUND TWO: Lewis tries the jumping high kick again, Latifi blocks it. Right from Lewis after he took a hard low kick. They both miss leg kicks. Latifi lands a calf kick. Body kick from Lewis lands. Lewis tries the jumping knee again, and stop me if you’ve heard this before but he winds up clinched on the fence because of it. Latifi is looking for a high crotch takedown, he bails on that to keep the clinch. A few body shots from Latifi then knees to the thigh. Lewis lands a knee to the body. Bit of an elbow from Lewis then Latifi gets an outside trip into half guard. Latifi hits the body a few times, he’s prioritizing control over damage. More body shots from Latifi. Lewis successfully stalls out and gets the stand up. Lewis misses a punch. Latifi blocks a high kick, gets a clinch and tosses Lewis down then goes into his guard. Half guard now for Latifi, he lands a few rights to the head before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Latifi, 20-18 Latifi overall

ROUND THREE: Lewis walking forward again. Latifi avoids a right, tries a right but it mostly misses. Bit of a right from Lewis. Another flying knee from Lewis, Latifi gets a clinch with a body lock. Latifi gets around towards the back, comes back around looking for a double leg, elevates and gets Lewis down into half guard. A couple more body shots from Latifi. Body to head punches from Latifi now, he doesn’t want to lose this position due to inactivity again. Lewis to his knees and back up but still clinched, Latifi doesn’t like the angle and separates. Lewis tries the flying knee again but this time avoids the clinch. Latifi avoids a right and clinches up again. Another body lock for Latifi and he’s got Lewis on the fence again. Knee from Lewis but he can’t get free. Trip from Latifi but Lewis is back up immediately this time. Lewis misses a right and they clinch but this time he gets free. Latifi blocks a kick and forces another clinch. Elbows from Lewis, he gets free and lands a right but is clinched again. They break, Lewis lands an uppercut. Latifi avoids another right, clinches, and that’s where time will run out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Lewis but a close round, 29-28 Latifi overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Derrick Lewis via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

I can see Lewis taking the first even if I disagree in the moment. Mic time for Lewis, he says this fight was very important and jokes he smoked weed 24/7 in advance of this fight. He went hard at the end of the third to steal that round back after the takedowns, then puts over Latifi’s chin then thanks the crowd for coming out. To close he pimps his after party.

I tend to roll my eyes when a fighter pimps their after party, but Lewis puts a moderately amusing spin on it here.

Mirsad Bektic was once thought to be a top prospect and inevitable contender in the featherweight division but that has cooled considerably as he’s only gone 2-2 in his last four fights with those two losses being brutal stoppages and he’s coming off of a loss to Josh Emmett. If Bektic wants to make a run towards the title he really can’t afford another loss here. Dan Ige has gone 4-1 in the UFC and is on a four fight winning streak, he’s hoping to get a fifth here and possibly get a shot at the top of the division next. The odds are close for this one, -135 for Bektic to an even +105 on Ige.

Featherweight Bout: #14 Mirsad Bektic (13-2, 145 lbs.) vs. Dan Ige (12-2, 145.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Bektic is an inch taller while Ige has an inch of reach advantage. They start circling early. Ige is backing up Bektic, he lands a left hook. Bektic tries a knee tap, can’t finish it and Ige lands a knee as they break apart. Ige lands a right. They punch into the clinch, Ige lands to the body then Bektic slips throwing a knee and Ige gets on top in half guard. Bektic fights up but eats several rights that wobble him a bit. A few more punches land for Ige, they clinch and Ige lands an elbow and uppercuts before they break. Ige is flowing right now and Bektic looks out of sorts. Body shots by Ige again and they clinch up. More body work from Ige then a right as they break apart. Bit of a left hook from Bektic, then he fails on a knee tap attempt. A couple of looping punches from Ige are blocked. They punch into the clinch again, Bektic winds up on the fence. A few foot stomps from Ige then an elbow as they break. Spinning back kick from Ige lands. Ige lands a left, they wind up clinched and Ige lands a right as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ige

ROUND TWO: Bektic lands a right but Ige returns fire. Bit of an uppercut from Bektic in close. Double leg from Bektic and he gets Ige down but they wind up scrambling and Bektic settles on top in side control. Hard body shots from Bektic, Ige looks to get his guard back. Now a wall walk attempt from Ige, Bektic can’t keep him down and they’re up on the fence. Bektic gets a takedown into a modified half guard, he adjusts and we’re in more traditional half guard. There’s a bit of an arm triangle attempt from Bektic, he’s on the wrong side but he’s looking to adjust and possibly pass. Full mount for Bektic now, he’s really after the choke but needs to make a few adjustments. Bektic is making some small adjustments to tighten things up from full mount, Ige is able to get free and hip escapes to butterfly guard. Half guard for Bektic, Ige uses a kimura threat to get full guard back. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Bektic, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Ige stalking forward to start the final round. Bektic is switching his stance as he moves. Ige lands a right to the body. Ige lands a right. Right then a left body kick from Ige. Uppercut from Ige in close. Bektic lands a bit of a right and they wind up clinched. They hit the fence, Bektic is after a single leg, Ige is landing some elbows while defending. Things stall out a bit and the ref breaks them. Ige misses a right hand. Ige lands a right and avoids a takedown attempt. Ige lands a left hook in close. Right from Ige lands, Bektic lands a left hook of his own. Body kick and a right from Ige. Bektic looks for a double leg, Ige tries to step over and get the back but misses his chance for an armbar and he winds up on bottom. Bektic moves to half guard, Ige keeps trying to sweep, he gets the motion and is back up but still clinched by Bektic. Ige granby rolls and Bektic grabs a front headlock. Bektic slips around towards the back, Ige grabs at an inside heel hook as the clock runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ige but a close one, could go either way, 29-28 Ige overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Dan Ige via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

No issues at all with 29-28 for either man, it all comes down to the third round and both men performed ably in that frame. Mic time for Ige, he gives glory to God first and says he knew this would be a tough fight for the duration and he says that he seems to always lose the second round but if you don’t get him in that round he comes back in the third and no one will dig deeper than him. He says the choke in the second round wasn’t all that close, then puts over the city and says he’ll be at Derrick Lewis’ after party.

Juan Adams has gone 1-2 in the UFC and is on a two fight losing streak, he was last seen getting stopped by Greg Hardy inside of one minute. If Adams wants to preserve his spot on the roster this is like a must win scenario for him. Justin Tafa just suffered his first loss when he was violently knocked out in his UFC debut, now he’s looking to bounce back and get his first UFC win. Despite the two fight skid the odds are with Adams at -250 to a +200 comeback on Tafa.

Heavyweight Bout: Juan Adams (5-2, 266 lbs.) vs. Justin Tafa (3-1, 265.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Adams is five inches taller and has six inches of reach advantage. They touch gloves to get us going, Tafa fighting southpaw. Both men probing distance so far. Adams lands a body kick. Bit of a leg kick from Tafa, and another one. Tafa lands a right hook in close, then a calf kick. Adams looks shaken up after that exchange. Right then a right uppercut from Tafa and Adams drops, he tries to reach for a leg but he went out and the ref stops this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Justin Tafa via TKO, punches, at 1:59 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Tafa for his work this evening. At least it didn’t last long. Mic time for Tafa, he thanks the crowd for coming out then thanks his family and coaches. He talks us through the finish, noting that Adams likes to wind up his jab so he could find a check hook counter. To close he shouts out Samoans, and says Mark Hunt is the man.

Here’s a look at the finish. Adams drops his lead hand here and Tafa rocks him with a right, then follows up with an uppercut along the fence to prompt the stoppage.

Katlyn Chookagian has gone 2-1 in her last three fights, but flyweight being what it is that’s enough to warrant a title shot these days. Chookagian has a chance to score a big upset as well as get her first taste of UFC gold here. Valentina Shevchenko hasn’t lost since returning to flyweight, and her only UFC losses are to Amanda Nunes, which has seen her both capture the flyweight title and defend it twice. Shevchenko is looking to continue her reign as well as making her case as one of the best women in the UFC. Shevchenko is the biggest favorite on the entire card at a whopping -1200 while Chookagian would payout at +750.

Women’s Flyweight Title Bout: (c) Valentina Shevchenko (18-3, 124.5 lbs.) vs. #1 Katlyn Chookagian (13-2, 124.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Chookagian is four inches taller but has just an inch and a half of reach advantage. Shevchenko fighting southpaw. Chookagian showing the jab early, both women just range finding early. Chookagian misses a few jabs and kicks. Bit of a leg kick from Shevchenko. Lots of circling from Chookagian, she avoids a combination. Front kick from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko lands a left. Chookagian showing some stance switching, Shevchenko lands an inside leg kick. Spinning back fist from Shevchenko lands flush. Leg kick from Shevchenko lands. Chookagian pawing with the lead hand again. Bit of a left then a hard leg kick from Shevchenko. Chookagian avoids a high kick. Shevchenko lands a right hook. Chookagian’s fakes and feints aren’t drawing anything out of Shevchenko. Shevhcenko misses a punch then lands a leg kick. Straight left from Shevchenko lands. Shevchenko catches a kick and gets a takedown into full guard. Chookagian looking to get a high guard going. Chookagian is tying things up and trying to stall. A few lefts from Shevchenko but nothing terribly hard. Hard elbow from Shevchenko cuts open Chookagian just before the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, would have been 10-8 under the new rules

ROUND TWO: The cut in question is over the left eyebrow of Chookagian and is a pretty bad one but not a fight stopper yet. Shevchenko back to avoiding early. Chookagian lands a leg kick and avoids a counter left. Hard body kick from Shevchenko, and she avoids the counter. Spinning back kick from Shevchenko lands. Chookagian misses a spinning back kick then misses a high kick. Shevchenko lands an inside leg kick. Bit of a left from Shevchenko. Front kick to the body from Shevchenko. Shevchenko lands a hook then a straight left. Inside leg kick form Shevchenko after she blocked a punch. Chookagian misses some punches, Shevchenko lands a leg kick. Spinning heel kick to the head from Shevchenko lands, then an ax kick. Shevchenko catches another kick and gets a takedown into half guard. A few shoulder strikes from Shevchenko. Chookagian is trying to hold on and control posture. Shevchenko lands a few body to head punches. Impressive shoulder pressure from Shevchenko, Chookagian is able to hip escape to full guard though. Chookagian keeps trying to get a high guard but it’s not really working. Shevchenko with a short elbow as the last blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Shevchenko, 20-18 Shevchenko overall

ROUND THREE: Chookagian bouncing forward, Shevhcenko lands an inside leg kick. They both miss front kicks. Body kick from Chookagian lands. Shevchenko catches a knee and trips Chookagian down to land in side control. Mounted crucifix for Shevchenko now and she’s landing elbows to the head. Punches from Shevchenko now and Chookagian can’t defend herself so the ref waves it off. Might have been a touch early but not bad by any means.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion – Valentina Shevchenko via TKO, punches and elbows, at 1:03 of Round 3

On looking at the replay no issue at all with the stoppage, it was a mercy one and Chookagian was getting smashed. Mic time for the champion, she says there wasn’t much surprising about the fight she prepares extremely hard so the fight itself is easier. She feels there’s a lot of good girls in the division and she wants to keep fighting at flyweight. She switches to Spanish for the crowd to play with them, thanks her team and coaches and is happy to have won in Houston and notes she lived in the city for two and a half years and started her MMA career in the USA here. She does her own translation into Spanish to thank some more people, goes to Russian I think for her home country, and closes in English thanking the crowd again.

Dominick Reyes is undefeated including six fights in the UFC leading to his first chance at UFC gold. Reyes has a chance to be the first person to legitimately defeat arguably the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen and start carving out his own championship legacy. Jon Jones is quite possibly the best fighter in MMA history, he’s only lost once and that came via disqualification. Jones is a two time light heavyweight champion, a title he never actually lost. He’s in the midst of his most active stretch in several years that has seen him reclaim the vacant light heavyweight title and then defend it twice, Jones is trying to continue that incredible legacy of dominance and further cement his status as the greatest of all time. Jones is a fairly hefty favorite at -550 to a +375 comeback on Reyes.

Light Heavyweight Title Bout: (c) Jon Jones (25-1 1 NC, 204 lbs.) vs. #4 Dominick Reyes (12-0, 205 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Jones has a reach advantage of seven and a half inches. Reyes fighting southpaw, Jones will do a fair bit of stance switching as he feels necessary. Reyes misses a left and they clinch but Reyes gets free quickly. Jones with a side kick to the knee, Reyes showing some stance switching now as well. Jones side kicks the knee. Jones blocks a high kick. Leg kicks are clashed on, then Jones lands a leg kick. Bit of a left from Reyes, he avoids a clinch attempt. They keep clashing on kicks, that hurts just watching. Jones avoids a couple of hooks. Reyes lands an inside leg kick. Leg kick from Jones. Reyes lands a left that off balances Jones. Reyes blocks a takedown attempt and lands a couple of lefts. Jones is backing up, he lands a front kick to the body. Left from Reyes, he’s fighting very well thus far. Jones lands a side kick to the knee again. High kick from Reyes is blocked but he’s getting off. Reyes pressures forward, tries a wheel kick that’s blocked. Inside leg kick from Reyes lands. Jones blocks a body kick. High kick from Jones lands with the toes. Jones lands a jab then has a high kick blocked. Reyes keeps circling away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Reyes

ROUND TWO: Reyes misses a left hand. Inside leg kick from Reyes lands. Jones pressing forward, eats a calf kick. Reyes lands a body kick. Another leg kick from Reyes lands, Jones with a body kick. They trade jabs, Reyes looks to flurry along the fence but Jones is moving well and avoiding most of it. The pace Reyes is keeping is pretty nuts, I wonder if he can maintain it. Jones checks a leg kick. Body kick from Jones. Jones with a left to counter a leg kick. Reyes has started jabbing tot he body while moving. Jones lands a left hook. Reyes with a left to the body. Jones with another front kick to the body. Side kick to the knee from Jones, his pressure is getting to Reyes a bit at this point. Stiff jab from Jones. Reyes blocks a high kick, Jones lands an inside leg kick then another side kick to the knee. Bit of a left from Jones, they then split lefts. Leg kick from Jones. Side kick to the body from Jones then a right. Reyes lands an uppercut. Hard inside leg kick from Reyes. Reyes avoids a left hook as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Reyes but much closer, 20-18 Reyes overall

ROUND THREE: Reyes circling, eats an inside leg kick. Jones with a front kick to the body. Reyes with a high kick that’s mostly blocked but man that was close. Jones stalking forward again. Body kick from Reyes lands. Jones lands a right and avoids some counters. Jones with another side kick to the body. Reyes circling but he’s falling off just a bit and he’s bleeding from the nose. Body kick from Jones, Reyes returns it. Bit of a spinning back kick from Jones. Reyes whiffs on a left. A couple of lefts to the body from Reyes. High kick from Jones is blocked. Double leg from Jones, he can’t finish it but does get the clinch on the fence. They break with an elbow from Reyes. Reyes with a left to the body. Jones lands a left. Jones lands a right. Both men avoid punches and Reyes kicks the body. Jones checks a leg kick and lands a jab. They trade lefts again. Jones lands a left hook, Reyes with a left to the body. Reyes lands a left. Another left lands for Jones. They clinch up just as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jones but I’m not sure about that, 29-28 Reyes overall

ROUND FOUR: Jones checks a leg kick. Bit of a right hook from Reyes, thena left to follow up. Reyes with another left, Jones clinches up but can’t get the takedown. Second effort from Jones gets Reyes down, Reyes wall walks but Jones takes him down again. Reyes back up, Jones still holding the clinch. Reyes frames off and regains distance. Jones is bleeding now from the nose and his left eye is swelling up. Reyes’ footwork is impressive this lat into the fight. Jones lands a leg kick. Double leg from Jones, he gets the back standing against the fence. Reyes is able to get free. Jones still stalking forward, lands a leg kick. Jones lands a jab. Body shot from Jones, then a left elbow and they clinch. Knees from Jones as Reyes slips out of the clinch. Jones lands a left hook. Body shot from Jones. Bit of a body kick from Jones, then a high kick that’s blocked. A few kicks to the knee from Jones. Stiff left hook from Jones then a right, Reyes is a bit wobbled as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jones 38-38 DRAW overall

ROUND FIVE: Reyes lands a left. Uppercut then a left from Reyes. Reyes lands an inside leg kick. Jones with a double leg, they hit the fence and he gets Reyes down. Reyes looking to wall walk, Jones gets the back standing and then looks for a double leg as they stand. Jones switches to a clinch position but Reyes can escape. Reyes lands a left to the body, Jones lands a right to the body and head. Jones lands an elbow. They trade leg kicks. Body kick from Jones. Jones still coming forward, Reyes is more looking to survive at this point than finish. Elbow from Jones. Jones lands another leg kick. Another body kick from Jones. More leg kicks from Jones then a left elbow. Reyes has a heck of a chin. Jones with a spinning back kick to the body. Reyes ducks under a head kick. Front kick to the body from Jones. Jones lands a right. Another side kick to the body from Jones but Reyes is still moving around. Jones with another spinning back kick to the body. Reyes blocks a head kick. Reyes avoiding Jones at this point. Jones coming forward, misses a spinning back fist as time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jones, 48-47 Jones overall but probably will go to Reyes

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and STILL UFC Light Heavyweight Champion – Jon Jones via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2)

I don’t agree at all with 4-1 Jones, and am surprised at the unanimous nature of the decision. That’s history for Jones, the winningest UFC championship fighter of all time at 14 wins in UFC title fights. Jones puts over Reyes hard in his interview, he feels the takedowns were the difference even though he couldn’t keep Reyes down. He says he knows the fight was close, he just had to turn it on the final round and he firmly believes the fifth round won him that fight. Jones puts over Reyes again, but he’s grateful he could make history here. Asked about possibly moving up to heavyweight next, he says he’s got to figure out what’s next, he puts over his grandmother who’s here watching him fight for the first time at a healthy 83 years old.

Reyes also gets an interview after that one, he thinks he won rounds one through three but notes he lost the last couple. He promises to get better and feels this proves he’s the real deal. He says nothing really surprised him, Jones was just really good, he laments that “that’s the game”. He doesn’t think the takedowns should have counted for much if nothing came of them, he again says this is just how the game goes. To close he thanks everyone for coming out, thanks everyone for their support as well.

Well I’ll echo both of them in thanking all of you for all the support. It means a lot to me that you choose my work, Lord knows you’ve got plenty of options for this kind of content. We’ll be breaking down all of the action from this event tomorrow on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, and previewing the next event which is UFC on ESPN+ 25. I’ll be back for that event and I hope you’ll join me. Until then thanks again, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all of your pop culture needs.