The light-heavyweight king Jon Jones narrowly escaped defeat last night, as he scored a decision victory over Dominick Reyes. Moreover, the women’s flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko earned another title defense via TKO (punches) over Katlyn Chookagian.
Sadly, a theme that plagued the event was the ongoing questionable decisions by way of the judges. Veteran judge Joe Solis deserves to be called out for submitting several disputed scorecards throughout the evening.
Anyone who watched the main event between Jones and Reyes would scoff at the idea that Jones won four of the five rounds, considering many people had Reyes winning. Yet somehow Solis’ scorecard read 49-46 in favor of the champ. The two judges accompanying Solis scored it 48-47 in favor of Jones, which is much more understandable. The other blunder from Solis came in a prelim bout between Andre Ewell and Jonathan Martinez. He was the lone judge to award Ewell the second round, which ultimately won him the decision.
Fighters are taught to avoid leaving the fate of the fight to the judges, but judges have an obligation to pay close attention for the entirety of the bout in order to make accurate scores.
During the broadcast, veteran UFC commentator Joe Rogan called out one of the judges for taking his eyes off of the fight for over 30 seconds. That is unacceptable and has to be dealt with by the UFC.
Moving ahead to the fights themselves, beginning with the co-main event between Shevchenko and Chookagian. The champion entered the fight as a (-1200) favorite, making her one of the biggest favorites in UFC title fight history. “The Bullet” displayed her striking prowess and all around game throughout the first 10 minutes. A notable part in the fight came near the end of the first round when Valentina busted the challenger open with a vicious elbow from the full-guard position. Then, 30 seconds into the third round Shevchenko displayed her dominance by securing a takedown and advancing to the crucifix position. From there she delivered several damaging punches until the referee ended the contest.
Valentina Shevchenko should be a household name as she continues to display not only her talents inside the octagon, but her vibrant personality outside the cage as well.
Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes gave the fans a memorable five round fight to cap off the evening. Reyes showed that he belonged in the octagon with Jon Jones from the moment the fight began. The challenger came out strong, won the first round and made Jones respect both his power and athleticism. The second and third rounds were both very close and tough to judge, but it seemed that the experienced Jones would be the fresher fighter entering the championship rounds. That proved to be true as Jones was the aggressor and the one advancing more often than not down the stretch. Both fighters stood tall as the final bell rung and it was extremely close. The judges gave the nod to the champ, but many people had Reyes pulling off the upset. In fact, Dana White even said in the post-fight press conference that he had Reyes winning 3-1 going into the fifth round.
Going into the fight, an immediate rematch for Reyes seemed highly unlikely. However, a rematch is what makes the most sense after watching it all unfold. Jones needs to put his heavyweight aspirations on hold and run it back with Reyes.
UFC 247 was controversial in many aspects, but in the end fans were treated to Shevchenko’s greatness and a heck of a main event between two incredible mixed martial artists.
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