BEST BET: (5u) Juan Adams @ -210 (to Return 7.4 Units)
Event: UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes
Location & Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Date: Saturday, February 8th 2020
Start time: Main Card: 10 p.m. ET, Prelims 8 p.m. ET, Early Prelims 6:15 p.m. ET
Where to watch: Main Card on Pay-per-view, Prelims on ESPN, Early Prelims on ESPN+
Another week, another rough looking UFC card. It’s not been easy watching for us UFC fans in the early goings of 2020, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better just yet. This weekend’s card is the third of the year and the second PPV event, yet much like the other cards, it’s seriously lacking fun and entertaining fights. However, we’ve had a week’s break and I’m ready to watch all the lackluster fights the matchmakers will give us. Let’s get into my picks and predictions for UFC 247: Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes!:
(5u) Juan Adams @ -210 (to Return 7.4 Units)
Juan Adams vs. Justin Tafa
Heavyweight (265lbs) Main Card Bout
We start off by jumping all the way up to the main card for a heavyweight bout between Juan Adams and Justin Tafa.
Both Adams and Tafa are relative newcomers to the UFC and MMA in general. They have a combined 8-3 record, not the typical number of fights you’d expect to see from fighters on the main card of a UFC PPV. Nevertheless, I’ve got a very strong lean on this fight and that’s in favor of Adams.
Juan “The Kraken” Adams is a behemoth of man, even for a heavyweight fighter. He’s every bit of 6 ft 5 inches tall and has to cut weight to make it to the 266lb limit. He’s a former NCAA Division 1 wrestler and his fighting style revolves around that. His crushing top game and sheer size is going to be too much for Justin Tafa, a fighter who has very limited fight experience and even more limited wrestling experience.
Tafa was initially called to the UFC to fight on the UFC 243 card in his home country of Australia against Yorgan De Castro. In the fight he showed how green he was as a mix martial artist, overreaching on power shots and ultimately getting caught in return with a hilarious counter-right, early in the first round (pictured below).
I see Adams taking down Tafa quickly and punishing him from the top with ground and pound. We’ve yet to see if Tafa has a get-up game, or any kind of cardio, but I feel very confident in taking the more durable, skilled and athletic fighter in Juan Adams. It’s not often I place a 5-unit wager on young heavyweights, but this looks like an outstanding get-right spot for Adams.
2-Leg Parlay: Valentina Shevchenko via Decision (-120) + Jon Jones (-450) – 1.5 Units @ +124 (to Return 3.36 Units) *Best Parlayable Odds Listed*
1st Leg of Parlay: Valentina Shevchenko via Decision @ -120
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
UFC Women’s Flyweight (125lbs) Title Fight Co-Main Event
The card’s co-main event sees Valentina Shevchenko defend her 125lb title against the number one ranked women’s flyweight, Katlyn Chookagian.
This will be Shevchenko’s third title defense, following on from her two against Jessica Eye and Liz Carmouche last year. She demonstrated different skills in each fight, winning via a brutal head kick KO against an overly exuberant Eye, and outclassing an exceedingly tentative Carmouche in a 25-minute snooze-fest. Coming away from those dominant victories, I thought I’d be difficult to see her in a more favorable matchup, but here we are. She’s currently a -1050 favorite (best price), and rightfully so. She holds every edge in this fight with Chookagian, excluding only her 4-inch height disadvantage.
They’re both extremely patient counter-strikers who prey on their opponents moving forward, this then enables them to use their fast rangy-offense whilst the opposition is attempting to close-the-gap. Shevchenko’s style is particular effective, as she’s still able to step-in and coax her opponents into perusing her, as she once again back-pedals and lands strikes.
I struggle to see Chookagian mixing up her ridged and time-tested game plan for this fight. I expect her to come in and seek to stay at range to utilize her jab and light-kicks, only to get out-classed at her own game by Shevchenko. Following two or three rounds, Chookagian will likely be at a loss for ideas, but I don’t see her making the adjustments to swing the fight, or put herself in real danger by looking to grapple with Shevchenko. Take Valentina Shevchenko to win via decision as the first leg of a two-fight parlay.
2nd Leg of Parlay: Jon Jones @ -440
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
UFC Light Heavyweight (205 lbs) Title Fight Main Event
In the main event we have debatably the male G.O.A.T, Jonny “Bones” Jones, taking on undefeated 12-0 prospect, Dominick Reyes. Much like the card’s co-main, this looks to be a one-sided bout with one guy being the more skilled in every aspect of the fight. Of course, I’m talking about the one and only, Jon Jones.
Jones has been a phenom in the UFC. He’s now 25-1 with his only loss coming due to being disqualified in a fight with Matt Hamill, way back in 2009. Since then he’s only gotten stronger, despite a few less inspiring performances over the last three or four years. That’s not to say that he isn’t performing well, just that he’s lacking the killer instinct that he did when he was on his ascension to the UFC light heavyweight title.
This fight for me is not a question of if Jon Jones is going to win, but how he’s going to win. Dominick Reyes isn’t someone I’d overlook, but he’s honestly outmatched in every way by Jones, especially with his grappling. Back in March of 2019 Reyes won a controversial split-decision over power-puncher, Volkan Oezdemir. The Swiss striker put on a wrestling clinic over Reyes in the early goings of the fight, something we’d have never expected from Oezdemir given his fighting style. Now, although Reyes might have patched some of these holes up, it’s not going to be enough to deny someone of Jones’ level from getting the takedown.
Jones could really win this fight anyway he pleases. I feel he could take the fight down to the mat with ease and pursue a finish (much like he did to Alexander Gustafsson in their second fight), or he could simply school Reyes on the feet until he gets a finish or wins a decision. There’s no telling exactly how Jon wants this fight to go, but at -440, I feel more than comfortable adding him as the final leg of the parlay.