The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 247 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday touched down in Houston for the first time in more than three years, as Jon Jones and Valentina Shevchenko retained their titles atop UFC 247 at the Toyota Center. Some stocks surged, and others spiraled downward.
Dominick Reyes: Despite a unanimous decision loss to light heavyweight Jon Jones in the main event, Reyes affirmed that he was a top-shelf competitor and a legitimate threat to the 205-pound throne. “The Devastator” was aggressive against Jones in the first three rounds, as he pawed with jabs and looked to explode with his powerful left hand. While there was some dissent among seasoned observers, many felt Reyes had done enough to dethrone Jones. Having had the opportunity to go five rounds for the first time in his 13-fight career, Reyes figures to return to the Octagon as a much more advanced and confident fighter. Whether or not that comes in a rematch with Jones remains to be seen.
Valentina Shevchenko: Though questions continue to arise regarding the women’s flyweight champion’s level of competition, Shevchenko performs at a high level on a consistent basis. She spent two-plus rounds of the co-headliner showing the world that Katlyn Chookagian was not in her league and ultimately advanced to the mounted crucifix position before prompting the stoppage with ground-and-pound in Round 3. While some have called for a trilogy fight with reigning bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes, Shevchenko seems content with defending her championship at 125 pounds. She named Joanne Calderwood and Roxanne Modafferi as potential opponents.
Dan Ige: The Xtreme Couture-trained Hawaiian recorded his fifth straight win and established himself as significant threat to the featherweight division with a split decision over Mirsad Bektic. Ige outstruck Bektic at the start and had him in trouble early on. The fight became a much more grueling affair in its latter stages, as Ige leaned on his defensive grappling skills in an effort to keep the Tristar Gym representative at bay. He could potentially see a Top 15 opponent in his next assignment, as he tries to become the first Dana White’s Contender Series alum to cross the threshold from prospect to contender.
Jon Jones: The reigning light heavyweight champion has never looked more vulnerable, as he has struggled in his last two outings against Reyes and Thiago Santos. Having gone to the scorecards in seven of his last eight victories, Jones has found it more and more difficult to pull the trigger, and it appears as though the gap between him and the rest of the division has begun to close. He retained his 205-pound title against Reyes, but a rematch between the two looms. Will he rediscover the killer instinct that saw him deliver eight finishes in nine appearances between March 21, 2010 and April 27, 2013?
Juan Adams: Saddled by a third consecutive loss, Adams’ run in the UFC may be over before he managed to gain any real traction. He was an easy prospect to like after his successful appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, as his confidence, boisterous personality, hulking frame and ability to separate opponents from their senses put him on the radars of many fans and analysts. Two years later, Adams has struggled to put it all together despite the physical tools with which he was blessed. If the UFC decides to keep “The Kraken” on the roster, he will certainly have entered do-or-die time. Perhaps continued training at Jackson-Wink MMA—he moved to the star-studded camp prior to his UFC 247 loss to Justin Tafa—will allow him to pick up the pieces and begin to reach his potential.
Ilir Latifi: The Swede’s move to heavyweight was nothing short of underwhelming, as he dropped a unanimous decision to Derrick Lewis in a fight where he seemed more focus on stalling and surviving than pursuing a victory. None of the issues Latifi encountered with pacing and cardio seemed to remedy themselves, and the size and power difference was glaring when he exchanged to Lewis. His chin held up under considerable duress, but his lack of output was concerning; and while a difficult weight cut to 205 pounds was problematic, the 36-year-old Latifi’s performance against Lewis did not inspire much hope that he could compete successfully as a heavyweight. With “The Sledgehammer” on a three-fight losing streak, it will be interesting to see what sort of approach the UFC takes with him.