Welcome to our coverage of UFC 247 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas featuring two titles fights as Jon Jones defends the light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes and Valentina Shevchenko meets Katlyn Chookagian for the flyweight title.
Our UFC 247 POST Show will be up on the site later tonight with John Pollock & Phil Chertok.
*Youssef Zalal def. Austin Lingo by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Andre Ewell def. Jonathan Martinez by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
*Journey Newson def. Domingo Pilarte by TKO at 0:38 of Round 1
*Mario Bautista def. Miles Johns by TKO at 1:41 of Round 2
*Kalinn Williams def. Alex Morono by KO at 0:27 of Round 1
*Lauren Murphy def. Andrea Lee by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
*Trevin Giles def. James Krause by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Derrick Lewis def. Ilir Latifi by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Dan Ige def. Mirsad Bektic by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Justin Tafa def. Juan Adams by TKO at 1:59 of Round 1
*Valentina Shevchenko def. Katlyn Chookagian by TKO at 1:03 of Round 3 to retain the UFC flyweight title
*Jon Jones def. Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) to retain the UFC light heavyweight title
AUSTIN LINGO (7-0, 145.5) VS YOUSSEF ZALAL (7-2, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Zalal and Lingo were both making their first appearances inside the octagon. Zalal was the underdog coming into this fight.
Zalal was the superior fighter in every aspect where the fight it went. He busted open Lingo’s nose early and drilled him with knees. Throughout the fight, Zalal scored six takedowns and outstruck Lingo 58-16. When Zalal had him on the mat, he would set up for D’arce chokes and guillotines but never threatened heavily. He worked inside Lingo’s guard throughout the third round with several elbows landing. I scored the fight 30-27 for Zalal.
WINNER: Youssef Zalal by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
ANDRE EWELL (15-6, 135.5) VS JONATHAN MARTINEZ (11-2, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
This was Ewell’s fifth fight in the UFC with his most significant win over former bantamweight champion Renan Barao. He is coming off a stoppage loss to Marlon Vera last October. Martinez is 2-1 in the UFC and coming off victories over Wuliji Buren and Pingyuan Liu last year.
This was a fantastic fight that will be marred by the judges’ scorecards that gave Ewell the split decision victory.
I had Ewell winning the first round and Martinez rounds two and three.
The first round culminated with a big flurry and the cleanest shot appeared to be a right hook from Ewell, who got the best of that exchange. In the second, Ewell was driving knees into the body until Martinez took over in the final minute with a body shot that hurt Ewell. Martinez continued with a left hook, jabs, and dropped him with a leg kick. Ewell slowed down in the third favoring his right arm and wrist. Martinez landed a flying knee and they ended the fight with another flurry of strikes. I had it 29-28 for Martinez.
WINNER: Andre Ewell by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
They booed the decision and Joe Rogan called the 30-27 card for Ewell ‘criminal’. This was a bad decision as I could only argue Ewell winning the first round.
DOMINGO PILARTE (8-2, 135.5) VS JOURNEY NEWSON (9-2, 135.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT
There was nothing controversial about this outcome. Both fighters were having their sophomore efforts in the UFC. Pilarte got a big reception as he is from Houston.
Newson landed with a monstrous right hand that dropped Pilarte and finished him with strikes quick.
WINNER: Journey Newson by TKO at 0:38 of Round 1
MILES JOHNS (10-0, 135) VS MARIO BAUTISTA (7-1, 135) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Johns was the favorite entering the fight at -135 defeating Cole Smith in his UFC debut last September. Bautista is 1-1 in the promotion with a submission loss to Cory Sandhagen in January 2019 and coming off a decision win over Jin Soo Son last July.
The first round saw both tentative with Johns partially landing with an overhand right and then, another right connected as two significant strikes of the round to seal it.
In the second, Bautista continued to be patient and timed a flying knee beautifully to drop Johns. He finished Johns with hammer fists and other strikes.
WINNER: Mario Bautista by TKO at 1:41 of Round 2
ALEX MORONO (17-5, 1 NC, 171) VS KALINN ‘KHAOS’ WILLIAMS (9-1, 169) – WELTERWEIGHT
Williams came out aggressive and threw some enormous shots that rocked Morono on his feet. Morono was sent against the cage and dropped with a right uppercut and finished with several big follow-up strikes until Kerry Hatley halted the fight.
WINNER: Kalinn ‘Khaos’ Williams by KO at 0:27 of Round 1
Williams was making his UFC debut but has a lot of experience with fourteen amateur fights under his belt before going pro in 2017. He fought four times in 2019 and has won seven straight after this victory.
ANDREA LEE (11-3, 125.5) VS LAUREN MURPHY (11-4, 125) – FLYWEIGHT
This was a wild fight as Lee was dealing with her mouthpiece falling out twice in the opening round. I thought the first two rounds were close and have it one round apiece going into the third round. Murphy landed lots of jabs in the first round. Lee three a kick that may have been illegal as Murphy was down, but they never called attention to it. Lee pulled ahead in the striking department by the end of the first two rounds. In the third, Lee clearly won the round in my opinion as Murphy leaped into a left hand. Lee attempted to submit her with a choke and it failed. Lee hit her with numerous body shots to end the fight. I had it 29-28 for Lee.
WINNER: Lauren Murphy by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
It was a close fight but I cannot justify a 30-27 card for Murphy as the third round was clearly Lee’s. The audience was upset with the decision and tried to boo Murphy as she spoke with Joe Rogan. It was Murphy’s fourth UFC win and is 4-4 overall in the promotion. Murphy wants to fight Roxanne Modafferi next.
TREVIN GILES (11-2, 185.5) VS JAMES KRAUSE (27-7, 183.5) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Krause had his best round in the first after absorbing some power strikes before taking Giles down and controlling his back. Krause fought for the rear-naked choke and Giles defended before reversing it a second time and escaping. He landed some shots to end the round, but it was Krause’s round. Giles dominated round two as Krause was exhausted. In the final minute, he was on the ground and pounding on Krause and locked on a choke as the round ended that I scored 10-8 for Giles. Both were tired in the third round and each was swinging wildly but Giles connected with the power shots of the round. I had it 29-27 for Giles.
WINNER: Trevin Giles by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
There was no 10-8 round scored in the second round, which I found stunning, but the right guy won the fight. It was a remarkable performance from Krause, who took the fight on a day’s notice and went fifteen minutes with a tough fighter in a weight class above.
Giles snapped a two-fight losing streak after losses to Zak Cummings and Gerald Meerschaert last year.
To start the pay-per-view main card, they had a nine-second moment of silence for Kobe Bryant and all the victims of the recent helicopter crash.
DERRICK LEWIS (22-7, 261.5) VS ILIR LATIFI (14-7, 246.5) – HEAVYWEIGHT
The high points of the opening round belonged to Lewis with a flying knee attempt and two head kicks thrown. Latifi tried to subdue Lewis by clinching against the fence and failed to get Lewis down to the ground as Lewis took the opening round. Latifi had more success with the takedowns in the second round that he set up with underhooks. Latifi got him down into half-guard and was attacking the body when they were stood up after several minutes of Latifi on top. It was 19-19 on my card after two rounds.
The third round was on its way to a Latifi round as he took Lewis down again. It came down to the final minute as Lewis popped up and went on the attack throwing everything he had at Latifi, including a massive right uppercut. Lewis showed a ton of heart by mustering up the offense necessary in the closing sixty seconds to win the fight.
WINNER: Derrick Lewis by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Lewis secured his fourteenth UFC win and second in a row after losses to Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos. This was a spectacular third-round performance from Lewis.
DAN IGE (12-2, 145.5) VS MIRSAD BEKTIC (13-2, 145) – FEATHERWEIGHT
This was a great fight. Ige won the first round easily through his strikes and timing and looked phenomenal in the opening five minutes. It was the opposite in round two as Bektic got him down and showed off his top game. Bektic dominated the round on top from side control and then moving to mount with an arm-triangle that Ige survived. If it was the new rules, the second round could have been a 10-8 round for Bektic, but I have it 19-19. The third went to Ige on my card because of the striking and out landing Bektic by a good margin. Bektic got control of his waist but was unable to do any damage or put Ige in trouble.
WINNER: Dan Ige by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
This was Ige’s fifth win in a row and most significant to date against a stud in Bektic. Ige will be getting someone notable in his next fight as this will propel him up the ladder in a big way. I enjoyed this fight a lot.
JUSTIN TAFA (3-1, 265.5) VS JUAN ADAMS (5-2, 266) – HEAVYWEIGHT
Tafa connected early in an exchange with several left hands landing flush. Tafa used a right hook to set up the right uppercut that put Adams down and he ate several more shots before it was over.
WINNER: Justin Tafa by TKO at 1:59 of Round 1
This was only Tafa’s second UFC fight after losing his debut Yorgan de Castro last October at UFC 243. Tafa has serious power and Adams seemed rocked after the left hands that left him vulnerable.
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (18-3, 124.5) VS KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (13-2, 124.5) FOR THE UFC FLYWEIGHT TITLE
This was a one-sided performance out of Shevchenko, who was a step above at every turn. In the first round, she got Chookagian down and sliced her open with a vicious elbow strike near the end of the first. In the second, Shevchenko attacked the body and leg before rocking her with a spinning wheel kick. Shevchenko scored another takedown and was up by two rounds going into the third. Chookagian attempted to pull guard, was blocked and taken down with a trip as Shevchenko moved to the crucifix position and drilled her with elbows and punches for the stoppage.
Brilliant performance by the champion.
WINNER: Valentina Shevchenko by TKO at 1:03 of Round 3 to retain the UFC flyweight title
This was her third title defense and there is no logical challenger at the weight class. There is always another fight with Amanda Nunes but the flyweight options are bleak as Shevchenko feels untouchable at this weight.
JON JONES (25-1, 1 NC, 204) VS DOMINICK REYES (12-0, 205) FOR THE UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
This was an incredible fight and could have gone either way.
Reyes was a machine in the first two rounds with relentless pressure and forcing Jones to react to his strikes. In the first, Jones briefly went down from a left hand he was hit with as he was throwing a kick. Reyes was on the attack in the second round, although Jones defended well and didn’t allow Reyes to hit his biggest shots. There was a left uppercut that landed on Jones and Reyes attacked with leg kicks. Reyes was up two rounds going into the third.
Jones recovered in the third and this was a closer round. Reyes landed more but Jones was partially blocking and may have had better-quality shots. Jones landed and Reyes made him pay by chasing him down. Jones went for his first takedown and it was blocked. I scored this round for Reyes, but it was close.
Jones won rounds four and five, which Reyes even admitted after the fight. Jones got several takedowns and Reyes got up immediately, so Jones went to the body and ended the fourth with an elbow, head kick, and left hook. It was almost all Jones in the fifth with a takedown, spin kick to the body and was so much fresher than Reyes in the final five minutes.
I scored it 48-47 for Reyes and it could go 48-47 for either.
WINNER: Jon Jones by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) to retain the UFC light heavyweight title