The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas plays host to UFC 247 on Saturday, where Jon ‘Bones’ Jones will face Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes for the Light Heavyweight crown. MMA UK break’s down the main event here:
Jon Jones (25-1) vs Dominick Reyes (12-0)
The UFC Light Heavyweight division has belonged to Jon Jones since his emphatic victory over Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (26-11-1) nearly a decade ago at UFC 128. Despite Daniel Cormier (22-2) holding the 205lb belt in Jones’ absence from the sport, he has never recorded a victory over the reigning Jon Jones. With Cormier moving on from the LHW division to see out his remaining days at Heavyweight, the race to defeat Jones has been unsuccessful thus far.
Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson (18-6), Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith (33-14) and Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos (21-7) have all attempted to rip the gold from Bones’ hands, only to be turned away empty-handed. Santos took Jones’ to a hard-fought split decision; in fact, Marreta has been the only fighter in UFC history to defeat Jones on a judge’s scorecard. Unfortunately for him, it was only one official card, as the other two judges opted for a Jones’ victory. The LHW division and Jonny Bones now turn to the next contender in line.
Enter one Dominick Reyes. Reyes is unbeaten in MMA, with a perfect 12-0 scorecard and in his last three bouts has defeated two former title challengers in Volkan Oezdemir(17-4) and Ovince St. Preux(24-13), and an ex UFC champion in Chris Weidman(14-5). Reyes has a good mix of decision and TKO wins littered throughout his record and also boasts a single submission victory over Jeremy Kimball at UFC 218.
If Jones engages in a striking affair with Reyes, the big winner will be the fans, as a firefight between the two will blow the roof off of the Toyota Center. However, Jones may be too tempted to utilise his skilful grappling side and nullify Reyes’ options in the bout. Santos showed the LHW division a possible route to the gold in his match with Jones, and if Reyes can take it to Jon on Saturday, we may have a new champion in the history books.
Reyes has stormed to a rapid shot at a coveted title, but I feel the seniority of Jon Jones will prove too much for him.
Jon Jones via Decision