UFC 247 takes place Saturday night at Toyota Center in Houston. The event features two title fights, including the light heavyweight main event between champion Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes.
Here are three of the best bets for UFC 247.
Jones' last two title defenses both went the distance, and I think that pattern will continue against Reyes.
"Bones" remains one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC, but he seems to be lacking the killer instinct he displayed during his younger days. His third-round TKO of Alexander Gustafsson at the end of 2018 was impressive but wins over Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos were less so. It's possible that Jones is slowing down.
The jury is still out, as Jones could've simply had bad nights against Smith and Santos. The fight with Reyes will say a lot about his career trajectory.
Ultimately, it's tough to pick against Jones in this spot - or any spot for that matter. Just look at his resume - he's essentially cleaned out the division twice, which is remarkable. Reyes would need to have a perfect fight and then some if he wants to capture the title.
From jabs to leg kicks, Jones will be able to use a wide array of attacks on the feet against Reyes, though the challenger is also known for his striking and knockout power. Jones will have an even bigger advantage if it goes to the ground.
While I'm siding with the UFC's pound-for-pound king, I do think Reyes will be enough of a test to force him to go five rounds.
Derrick Lewis is 6-3, and Ilir Latifi is 5-8. Need I say more?
It seems like Latifi is simply looking to change things up by moving to heavyweight while riding a two-fight skid. Unfortunately for him, I don't see the switch panning out very well.
Latifi already dealt with disadvantages in height and reach at light heavyweight. He was able to make up for them with his strength and power, but that won't be nearly as easy to do against heavyweights.
Lewis will be able to hit Latifi with ease, and Latifi will struggle to fire back. The Swede has been knocked out three times before, and he's never fought someone with Lewis' power.
I'm confident that this fight will be one-way traffic for "The Black Beast" until it ends within 15 minutes.
Takedowns will be the key to victory for Mirsad Bektic.
Some people are sleeping on Bektic in this spot because of his recent setbacks and Dan Ige's four straight wins, but stylistically, I think this matchup favors the Bosnia native.
Bektic is very strong and will be able to consistently get Ige to the mat, where he can land ground-and-pound and possibly hunt for a finish. Ige's takedown defense accuracy is just 60% - while it could be worse, it certainly isn't spectacular.
If Ige is able to keep one of three rounds on the feet, he could take it and make the fight competitive. But one round won't win him the contest, and even then, Bektic should be able to hold his own in the striking department.
Once proclaimed a future UFC champion, Bektic's buzz has been killed by two losses in his past four fights. The potential is still there, though, and I could very well see him beginning another winning streak Saturday.