UFC 247 concluded with two of the best fighters to ever step into the octagon showing exactly why they are in the position they were. The co-main event showed us exactly why Valentina Shevchenko is one of the all-time best in the Women's Flyweight division and the main event proved to us that in order to become the champ, you must do more than just survive the champ. Jon Jones may not have won the fight, but he definitely didn't lose the fight.
Women's Flyweight Championship
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian
This fight started out slowly with Shevchenko getting the feel for Chookagian and testing the waters. It was clear from the start that Chookagian was going to rush this attack as she tried to get that kill-shot quite quickly. It didn't phase Shevchenko. Once she found the proper range, she opened up a clinic on Chookagian's body.
The fight was taken to the ground and then this happened:
That elbow left Chookagian bloody in a horrible spot:
Then not long afterward, Shevchenko landed one of her signature and deadly head-kicks:
I must give Katlyn Chookagian credit where it's due here because that kick would have knocked out most normal people.
Moving into the third round, it was another dominant beating from Shevchenko that eventually went to the ground. Chookagian was caught in a deadly and problematic position, where the fight ended on a vicious TKO:
Valentina Shevchenko is one of the most dominating fighters we've ever seen. She is incredibly technical and has immense ferocity. She has basically run through that entire division and has no logical next opponent. I have no idea where we go from here. Could she jump weight classes and fight Amanda Nunes? As unlikely as that is, it would be amazing to see it happen.
Men's Light Heavyweight
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
What a surprise it was to have another controversial decision from the wonderful judges of the UFC.
It's a negative trend in the UFC to constantly have questionable judging but at least, for once, we're not complaining about the referees. It was pretty obvious and simple to me; Jones did not win this fight. However, he didn't lose this fight either. Dominick Reyes is a deadly striker and definitely came at Jon hard enough to pull off the upset, but his problem was he left the victory in the hands of the incompetent judges. We've all heard it before:
If you want to BE the champ, you have to BEAT the champ.
Reyes started out this fight really hot. He was pressuring Jon in ways that Jon hasn't faced all that much in his career, and it showed in this knockdown:
Reyes was taking it to Jon with more than just a hard body shot too:
Reyes had a good performance but that's not to say Jones was dominated. Jon kept him away long enough to get in his shots when he needed to.
The fact of the matter here is that Jon wasn't beaten. He was damaged, bruised, and surprised similarly to what happened in his previous fight against Thiago Santos, but he did not lose outright.
So now the question is what's next for Jones?
Personally, I've been calling for him to jump up to Heavyweight and attack some of the monsters up there. Being the broken record that I am, I'd love to see him fight Francis Ngannou! That could be an amazing show of technicality versus brute strength. Realistically, I think Jones stays at Light Heavyweight and signs on for a rematch with Reyes. It might not be the next fight for him this year, but it's definitely somewhere down the road for him.