Saturday, February 8, 2020

LIVE(ish) Round-By-Round Coverage of UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes!

Can’t check out the latest and greatest PPV spectacular? No worries, homey — our in-depth, industry-leading reportage will keep you in the loop all night long

By: Jimbo X

I remember it like it was yesterday — UFC 128. Just one month after sandblasting Ryan Bader, Jon Jones, then a fresh-faced 23-year-old, went into the Prudential Center and pounded Shogun Rua into submission to become the youngest Light Heavyweight Champion in promotion history. Well, nine years and 13 fights later, Jon Jones is STILL undefeated and STILL, technically, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, even though he’s been stripped of the belt like, four or five times, because he keeps getting into light-hearted shenanigans like testing positive for cocaine and hard-on pills and occasionally committing a hit-and-run on a pregnant woman.

At this point, there’s no denying it — despite his out-of-the-Octagon tomfoolery, Jon Jones is EASILY the greatest fighter in MMA history, and it ain’t even close. In fact, you’d have to go back to the heyday of Mike Tyson to even find a close referential point for what Jon Jones has done in the last decade. He’s beaten eight Hall-of-Famers over the last nine years, and so far in his MMA career not once has it looked like he was in jeopardy of being knocked out or submitted. 

Alas, all great fighters eventually fade away, and after a decade of dominance, some in the MMA ecosphere are starting to allege that we’ve moved beyond Prime Jones. Perhaps that’s evident by Jones’ last performance, a shockingly narrow split decision win over Thiago Santos, a virtual journeyman who still managed to win at least one scorecard despite tearing an ACL halfway through the fight. 

Enter 30-year-old Dominick Reyes, an undefeated brawler who is 6-0 in the UFC, complete with wins over the likes of OSP, Volkan Oezdemir and Chris Weidman. Known for his high-powered head kicks, Reyes presents a unique challenge for “Bones,” whose last few opponents have primarily stuck to a close-range, wrestling-oriented offensive strategy. Of course, D.R. is also well-regarded for saying some incredibly stupid shit on social media, even for a MMA fighter in the early stages of terminal brain damage, so maybe it’s wash in the grand scheme of things.

Still, it ought to be a good one, if not a downright historic one (and an outright laugher, at the absolute worst here.) But hold your horses, we ain’t done yet. You know what else this card’s got on it? That’s right, a Women’s Flyweight Championship contest, which you can pretend to be excited about ‘cause you think it’ll get you some feminist twat (spoiler, it ain’t.) But hey, we DO have Derrick “My Ballz Wuz Hawt” Lewis fighting on the undercard, and Mirsad Bektic, too, so there’s a pretty good chance at least one of said parties will do something noteworthy at some part in the evening.

As always, our LIVE(ish) round-by-round coverage of the night’s tomfoolery and shenanigans begins promptly at 10 p.m. Eastern time TONIGHT, so why don’t you go on ahead and do us and yourselves a favor and bookmark this shit for later usage? Of course, we encourage you to hit the “refresh” button frequently, because our commentary is gonna’ be coming at you FAST AND FURIOUSLY. And hey, why don’t you tell all your fight-loving friends on the social media about our free service tonight? Not only will they appreciate your thorough thoughtfulness, you might even get a blow out of it, pending your timeline is filled with enough whores.

A quick reminder that tonight's LIVE(ish) UFC 247 coverage is brought to you by Red Lobster. Mmm, mmm, it's LOBSERFEST, motherfucker.

We begin the show with a loving tribute to Kobe Bryant, the beloved basketball player and proponent of women's rights who NEVER, ever did anything wrong in his life at any point. We are coming to you LIVE from Houston, Texas, where the men are men and the women aren't. Our hosts, as always, are Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz. No, not the guy who shot up the school in Florida, that was NIKOLAS Cruz. Rogan says Jon Jones is a dangerous fighter because he has a "high fight IQ" and "has the confidence that comes from being dominant."  Reyes is a -550 underdog tonight, which, yeah, sounds about right. Then they try to get us excited about the two women fighting in the co-main, like that's even remotely possible, LOL, because they're women. Oh, the unified rules are not in effect tonight, and neither is instant replay, so you just KNOW some wacky shit is destined to happen now.

Heavyweight Bout
Derrick Lewis (22-7-0-1) vs. Ilir Latifi (15-7-0-1)

Ilir comes out to "Gonna Fly Now" from the first Rocky movie. LOL at Rogan already talking shit about Latifi being short. The hometown boy Lewis gets a HYUGE reaction from the locals. Joe puts over Lewis' Instagram page as the best in MMA and brings up his last second win over Alexander Volkov. Apparently, Lewis is on some new water-based diet, so color me intrigued on how that shit turns out. Ilir back pedals a little and looks hesitant to throw. Lewis taking his time, too. Ilir clinches and Lewis starts throwing some knees. Ilir holds on for dear life and lands a big hit on separation. Lewis goes for a flying knee but he doesn't quite get a lot of it. Ilir hugs Lewis against the cage again. Lewis with an elbow to the back of the head and he shirks off the single-leg takedown attempt. Ilir continues to try to outfat Lewis against the cage an the ref is getting sick of their bullshit. He puts them back in the middle of the cage and Lewis lands a BIG head kick. Lewis goes for another head kick but whiffs. Ilir with another clinch against the cage but he can't get the single leg. Lewis whiffs on another flying knee and Ilir just hugs him until the bell sounds.

Round two. Lewis with a kick to the shoulder blades to begin. Lewis with some leg kicks and Lewis goes for ANOTHER flying knee. Yep, Ilir goes back to the clinch. Lewish reverses and lands a knee, only for Latifi to FINALLY land the takedown. Latifi in the full mount, kinda' sorta. Alas, Ilir isn't landing much from the top. The ref stands them up after about a minute of inactivity. Lewis goes for a head kick and Ilir just tosses Lewis back to the mat like a big black bitch. Ilir hops back in the full guard and he's content just hanging there until the round is over.

Round three. Latifi outlanded Lewis 37-8 in the second, by the way. Lewis whiffs on a haymaker but he doesn manage to stick a heavy left. Lewis goes for another flying knee and Ilir has double underhooks again. And Ilir takes him down AGAIN. Ilir working from the half guard now, and quite effectively. Lewis is back to his feet and his pants almost fall down and we get a nice, lingering shot of his big black buttcrack. Lewis whiffs on another flying knee and Ilir gets double underhooks again. He's got him crunched against the cage with about 90 seconds left in the fight. Ilir gets a trip and Lewis is back to his feet. Lewis with a head kick and he rocks Ilir with a hard left. Latifi hugs Lewis against the cage and Lewis connects on a ton of elbow shots. Lewis with a massive uppercut and he's chasing Ilir down. Latifi with a clinch at the bell and it looks like Lewis got a shot in after the horn sounded.

We go to the judges. It's 29-28 across the board for Lewis, which to me at least, seems like a bit of a robbery, and not just because Derrick is black. In the post-fight, Latifi talks about has strategy of smoking weed. "I guess that boy got a chin," Lewis said of Latifi. He then tells the crowd he's having an after-party celebration, where the fans are invited to buy him some shots but he ain't buying them shit.

Sigh, another black man getting away with a brazen robbery.

Featherweight Bout
Mirsad Bektic (13-2-0-0) vs. Dan Ige (12-2-0-0)

I know it's random, but I really like the shape of Megan Olivi's nose. Ige comes out to some lame RATM-sounding shit and Bektic comes out dancing like a Bosnian homosexual, which is something I know a lot about, living in the part of town with a lot of Bosnian homosexuals in it. Wow, NOBODY in the audience gives half a shit about either of these two guys, and it's great. There's a quick exchange early, with Ige rattling off the better combo. Ige with a knee and a takedown, but Bektic is right back to his feet. There's another lightning fast exchange and Bektic gets double hooks in. Bektic trips and Ige falls in the gull guard. Ige lands some HARD right hands as Bektic gets back to his feet. Ige closing the gap and landing a ton of body shots now. Ige with shoulder shunts against the cage. Ige has a cut under his left eye, although I'm not quite sure how he got it. Bektic feints on a high kick and Ige rattles off another big combo. Ige shoots for a takedown as the bell sounds, but he doesn't get it.

Round two. Bektic with some hard right hands out the gate and he shoots for a takedown. Bektic working from sort of a hybid north-south/side control position. Bektic digging some knees into Ige's ribs now. Bektic trying to get Ige's back, but returns to his feet. Ige hooks Bektic's legs on the mat but Bektic easily escapes. Now Bektic is going for an arm triangle choke. Yep, Ige, is looking pretty fucked right about now. Bektic remains in the full mount even though he loses the submission. Ige tries for a kimura but he quickly loses it. Bektic closes out the round back in the full mount, in total control.

Round three. Bektic with a big right hand. Ige being the more aggressive fighter, but Bektic is controlling the pace, regardless. Bektic shooting for a takedown against the cage and Ige is battling back with some elbow shots. The ref makes them head back to the center of the cage, rather questionably. Ige lands a left and Joe admonishes the ref for "playing to the crowd." Bektic gets a good hook in. Ige with a heavy right and a kick to the stomach. Bektic gets a single leg takedown, but Ige lands on top of him. Bektic LITERALLY has his head stuck under Ige's balls with a minute left. Bektic  is back to his feet and he has Ige's back. He switches to the front and appears to go for a guillotine. He loses it, gets Ige's back again and Ige goes for a fruitless leglock as the bell sounds.

Alright, let's hear it from the judges. It's 29-28 Bektic, 29-28 Ige and 29-28 ... Ige. He says some stuff about Jesus in his post-fight interview with Joe, but like fuck you noticed anything other than how hilariously homosexual he sounded. Goddamn, that nigga' makes GSP sound like Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

Yeah, I can't pretend I care, either.

Hey JJ Watt, Deshaun Watson AND Russell Westbrook are in the crowd tonight. Not in the crowd tonight, however? Anybody with a championship ring.

Heavyweight Bout
Juan Adams (5-2-0-0) vs. Justin Tafa (3-1-0-0)

Tafa comes out to Mexican-sounding rap even though he's from New Zealand. And good lord, does this man have some tremendous love handles. Adams comes out to virtually no reaction, but I don't think the fans know he's from Houston yet. If Adams looks familiar, it's because he got his ass kicked by Greg Hardy that one time. OK, my bad, Tafa is actually Australian. The referee totally looks like he's a member of he alt-right, by the way. This may be the most per capita jelly roll in one UFC fight since Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt was in the promotion.  Tafa with low kicks, but they ain't doing too much. Adams is coming at Tafa with all 10 fingers, like he was doing an impression of Jon Jones or something. Tafa wih a big shot and he gets a decent flurry in. Adams rebounds with some leg kicks of his own, and then Tafa fucking MURDER DEATH KILLS Adams with one shot. He gets about three or four free shots on the mat and yep, the ref has to wave this one off FAST.

The TKO stoppage came at just 1:59 of the very first round. Tuffa gives a shout out to Mark Hunt in the post fight interview and yeah, that's pretty much the only noteworthy thing he has to say. And LOL at Halle Berry getting a louder pop than Brian Ortega or Curtis Blaydes.

When you get punched so hard, you LITERALLY turn into a monster from Jacob's Ladder.

After that early finish, we've got a LOT of time to kill, so how about we all watch a video of Dana White cliff-diving in slow motion with a buncha' random teenagers? Yeah, nothing creepy about that — where did they film that shit, Epstein Island?

UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship Bout
Valentina Shevchenko (18-3-0-0) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (13-2-0-0)

The Chook is a +750 underdog in this one, in case you were wondering. She comes out to some DMX song, but not one of the two or three you actually know. Meanwhile, Shevchenko comes out to accordian music, with a face displaying ZERO emotion whatsoever. Oh, so that's why her nickname is "The Cold-Blooded Assassin," I take it. Shev has a new red dye job, by the way. Vegas has her as a -1200 favorite and you can't even get anywhere CLOSE to spelling her home country correctly. Both fighters exchanging leg kicks early. Shev whiffs on a front kick, but she connects on a heavy left. Shev lands a counter spinning backfist. Chook misses on a high kick. Shev with a quick combo and a low kick. Chook low kicks her right back. Shev fires right back with a straight jab and a leg kick. Shev just misses on a question mark kick. Chook with a leg kick and Shev gets an easy takedown. I'm not a big fan of Chook's dark fingernail/light red toenail polish combo, personally. Shev closes out the round in the full mount, slicing open Chook's forehead with a solitary elbow shot right at the bell.

Round two. Chook is STILL bleeding like a stuck pig. Shev continues the leg kicking strategy and lands a HUGE roundhouse kick. Shev connects with a good combo. The fans are chanting "USA," but that ain't helping shit. Chook gets her best punch of the fight in with a solid straight jab. Shev LIGHTS Chook up with a roundhouse kick and follows suit with a BRUTAL axe kick. Shev gets the takedown and she's working from the halfguard. God I want Shevchenko to kick me in the balls so hard. Chook has a minute to survive and she's springing another leak from her forehead. Shev back in the full guard, and Chook holds onto her as the bell sounds.

Round three. Chook throwing some alright looking kicks, but Shev easily akes her back to the mat with a leg trip. Now Shev has Chook in the crucifix mount and she is just RAINING PUNCHES. Yep, this fight is OVER.

The TKO stoppage comes at 1:03 of round three. Shev does a pirouette to celebrate the win and the belt goes flying off her waist.  Joe kinda' obliquely asks her if she's going to move up a weight class, but she doesn't really give an indication one way or another. Then Shev wins over the crowd by saying Houston is her de facto USA home from her days with Legacy Fighting, then she cuts a promo in Spanish, even though the language she speaks the best is still the lingua of PAIN.

Remember kids: that's all from ONE elbow shot.

LOL at Usman getting booed by Masvidal and Romero getting cheered. Also, Daft Punk's "One More Time" is playing over the PA system, so that means we ALL gotta' dance right now.

Oh boy, I can't WAIT to watch that one Prime streaming show about Al Pacino killing Nazis, for sure. By the way, when I say I'm excited to watch it, what I really mean is that I'm NOT excited to watch it. That's called being ironic and shit, folks.

Reyes comes out first to some generic-ass hip-hop music.  Jones, as always, comes out to 50 Cent and drops his baseball cap, 'cause maybe he's nervous over his next drug test?

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Jon Jones (25-1-0-1) vs. Dominick Reyes (12-0-0-0)

Jones has a giant-ass bandage on his big toe. Might want to check it for contraband, just saying. As always, he slaps his balls like a gorilla and crawls into the Octagon like a spider, because deep down, we all know Jon Jones is secretly Manimal. Reyes comes out with knees early and Jones shoots for a takedown. He doesn't get it. Reyes misses on a left hook, then he whiffs on a high kick. Jones working the leg kicks early. Reyes with some jabs, but none of them are really landing flush. Jones keeps checking the kicks. Reyes whiffs on another hook. Jones already looking for the eyepoke. Reyes whiffs on a leg kick and Jones fires back with a leg kick of his own. A better one, I must add. REYES DROPS JONES WITH A RIGHT! Jones is back to his feet, but Reyes is pursuing. Reyes with a body kick and a hard right. Jones fires back with a body shot. Reyes with more clubbing blows. Reyes with a barrage of kicks and Jones is back pedaling. Reyes with another low kick and Jones lands his best high kick of the fight so far. And another one. A lot of circling to end the round. A HELL of a first right there.

Round two. Reyes working the body shots early. He whiffs on another hook. Jones with akick to the body and Reyes is throwing a TON of shots. Jones with great head movement and Reyes retreats. Reyes lands a nasty leg kick and Jones starts punting his patellas. Jones with a counter left. Reyes connects on a jab. Jones lands a left hook. Reyes with more body shots. Reyes connects on a left and Jone lands one right back. Jones with another great jab. Reyes with a straight jab to the sternum and Jones whiffs on a head kick. Jones with a hard left to the noggin. Reyes with a great counter and Jones lands a spinning kick to the body. Reyes with an uppercut and a left hook, but Jones is fighting a smart defensive fight. Jones whiffs on a hook as the bell sounds.

Round three. Reyes has outlanded Jones over the last two rounds. Jones working the low kicks. Reyes hits a huge head kick but Jones keeps trucking. Reyes with a knee to the body. Reyes with a jab and another hard kick to the stomach. Jones gets tagged on a toe to the face. Jones controlling the center of the Octagon and pushing Reyes with his back to the cage. Reyes is bleeding under his nose a little. Reyes connects on another body kick. Reyes with an uppercut, but he's slowing down substantially. Jones shoots for a takedown, but Reyes isn't going down. Reyes gets an elbow off in the clinch. Reyes lands another high kick. Jones connects on a hook and Reyes rattles off a nice body shot. Reyes with a great straight jab. Jones whiffs on a flying knee at the bell.

Round four. Feasibly, Reyes could've won the first three rounds, so Jones HAS to be thinking about a finish here. Reyes with a low kick. He's landing a ton of shots and Jones gets a clinch. He slips, hops right back up and takes Reye down. Reyes is right back up, but Jones is crushing him against the cage. Jones with knees to the stomach and we have separation. Jones is bleeding from the nose. This is the most damage we've ever seen Jones absorb in a fight before. Jones with a great low kick. Jones bullies Reyes against the cage. Jones has a waistlock. Reyes with an elbow and we have separation again. Reyes lands a good, but winded, combo. Jones with more leg kicks and body shots. Jones with a big elbow and a knee to the stomach. Jones with another good left hook. Reyes with a counter right. About a minute to go in the round. Jones lands a head kick. Reyes with a high kick and Jones lands a GREAT left hook before the bell sounds.

Round five. It all comes down to this one, folks. Reyes with a good jab early. Jones shoots for a takedown, but Reyes holds him off. There's separation and Jones lands some body shots. Jones throwing those deadly ass elbows now. Jones with a low kick and a straight. Jones with another body kick. Reyes ALMOST got clipped by a brutal elbow. Reyes trying to land that left hand, but he doesn't have enough gas left in the tank. Jones keeps advancing. Jones with a BIG elbow shot. Jones with a spinning back kick. Two minutes to go. Jones whiffs on a huge head kick. Reyes is running on fumes at this point. A minute left. Jones with a kick to the body. Jones with another spinning kick. Ten seconds left. Jones whiffs on a spinning backfist and yep, that's the fight.

I've got Reyes winning the first three rounds and Jones winning rounds four and five, easy. So this one hinges on who you think got the best out of round three. Let's hear the official verdict from the judges, why don't we? It's 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 ... for JON JONES.

The fans boo the shit out of the decision, but really, that's what people do in Houston, regardless. Jones says Reyes is a worthy opponent and Rogan asks him if he wants to move up to Heavyweight. "Tonight, I've got some celebrating to do, I've got my grandma in town," Jones said of his six-foot-tall, 83-year-old granny. That's Jones' 14th successful title defense, by the way.

Reyes says he thought he won rounds 1, 2 and 3, and yeah, he's probably right. "I'll get better, I know I will," he says. He tells everybody in Houston he loves them and they fill his heart with love, and then Anik calls out the one judge who called it four rounds to one for Jones for being a shit-head. "It makes me angry," Rogan comments. "For anyone to think that was 4-1 Jon Jones, you're insane."

Apparently, this is the Super Nintendo version of UFC 247, where the blood got turned into sweat.

Alright, we have got a LOT to talk about in the fallout of this one, but I'm really tired and need some sleep. So how about we call it a night and I'll see you back here bright and early tomorrow morning with some more thorough analysis?

SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Well, it seems like Jones vs. Reyes 2 is pretty much a given at this point, pending Jones manages to vanquish his greatest opponent, the post fight piss test. Had Jones finished Reyes, it's almost certain that he would've moved up to Heavyweight for his next fight, perhaps even a Championsip tilt against Stipe Miocic. Alas, as close-fought as tonight's main event was, there's really no excuse for Dana W. and company to re-book the sequel for this July's big PPV spectacular. Along those same lines, at this point it's practically mandatory that Shevcehnko bump up a weight class for her next fight — I mean, a bantamweight title bout with Amanda Nunes would be one of the few "big money" women's MMA fights the UFC could book at this juncture, and I personally wouldn't be surprised to see it going down well before September rolls around. Elsewhere, I would be thrilled to see Derrick Lewis go toe-to-toe with Justin Tafa, although Tafa vs. Ilir Latifi seems like something the promotion would put on a free ESPN card, if we're going to be a little more realistic with our fantasy booking. And how about giving Dan Ige a top 15 featherweight for his next outing — say against somebody like Shane Burgos or even Jose Aldo?

ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT: "If you look up the definition of 'freak athlete,' there's a picture of Yoel Romero in his underwear."

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Jones vs. Reyes was the best Light Heavyweight Championship fight in seven years, and waching Justin Tafa Mortal Kombat Juan "Warm Body" Adams is an early contender for ass-whompin' of the year.

SHOW LOWLIGHT: No suprise here, but goddamn, should Texans never, EVER be allowed near a scorecard in anything, be it mixed martial arts competitions with millions at stake or a pick-up game at Rodney's Bowl-A-Rama in Amarillo.

THE VERDICT? This was a largely forgettable show save for two things — the outstanding, early FOTY-candidate main event and the downright horrific scoring throughout the night. Still, the show served its purpose, I suppose, putting over Shev as a truly marketable 125-pound killing machine and getting us legitexcited for an upcoming Dominick Reyes match, which is something I genuinely didn't think was possible a mere 24 hours ago.


— In Texas, the tiebreaker is whether or not one of the fighters actually resides in Texas.

— Greg Hardy's ex probably has better striking defense than Juan Adams.

— Octagon control is literally twice as important as actually outstriking your opponent.

— Any woman that speaks more than three languages frquently can surely roundhouse kick the shit out of you if she had to.

—In Jon Jones fights, rounds four and five are worth twice as much as the first three.

Well, that's all I've got for you this week. Crank up "Solid State" by Aritus and Fibre and "Crazy" by S U R F I N G and I'll be seeing you cageside in just a few.


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