UFC 247: Three fights to watch outside of the main event

Juan Adams, ufc 247
Image: Juan Adams on Facebook

This weekend the UFC will bring two title fights to Houston, Texas with the light heavyweight title and women’s flyweight championship on the line at UFC 247.

In the main event, Jon Jones, who is regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time, will defend his title against rising challenger Dominick Reyes, who some believe is one of the biggest challenges for Jones so far.

In the co-main event, reigning women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will look to extend her four-fight winning streak and her third title defense, when she takes on Katlyn Chookagian.

Given the big names atop the UFC 247 card, it serves as an opportunity for the casual fan to become familiar with some other fighters on the UFC roster.

Outside of the two title fights that will have the spotlight on them, here are three other fights you shouldn’t miss at UFC 247.

Juan Adams (5-2) vs Justin Tafa (3-1) – UFC 247 Main Card

Juan Adams is more than “another Greg Hardy opponent” and his placement on the main card shows it. His fight against Justin Tafa is above another heavyweight fight between Derrick Lewis and Ilir Latifi who will start the PPV main card. Adams recently changed camps and joined JacksonWink MMA and as the top of the heavyweight division is currently filled with mostly veterans, this fight presents an opportunity for two young heavyweights to make their mark in a division.

Andrea Lee (11-3) vs Lauren Murphy (11-4) – UFC 247 Prelim Card

With the flyweight champion fighting in the main event, a fight between two contenders in Lee and Murphy is the perfect table-setter for later in the night. Murphy is another fighter who recently moved and changed camps, and she’ll have a tough challenge against Lee who is best known for her striking. Both women have very similar records for their professional career, and both are eager to make a mark in a division that just like the men’s heavyweight division, is wide open for fighters who can make a statement.

Miles Johns (10-0) vs Mario Bautista (7-1): UFC 247 Prelim Card

As always, there’s a darkhose contender for Fight Of the Night, and this bantamweight scrap takes that label this weekend. Johns is an undefeated fighter out of the ever-growing and successful Fortis MMA team with head coach Sayif Saud, and although they’ve had success in their camp, their plans are to grab titles in 2020. The undefeated Johns will take on Mario Bautista who only has one blemish on his record and always comes looking for a fight. Johns is most known for his wrestling, but may want to come out and make a statement, as he is looking for his first finish inside the UFC.

Honorable mention: Austin Lingo (7-0) vs Youssef Zalal (7-2) – UFC 247 Early Prelim Card

Both fighters are with great fight teams as Lingo comes from Fortis MMA and Zalal comes from Factory X, lead by head coach Marc Montoya. Even better, to the delight of fans, both fighters are making their UFC debut which means they’re both hungry and eager to make a statement in their new promotion. They’ve both made the big stage, and now they’ll have to prove their place in the UFC and the featherweight division.

UFC 247 takes place on February 8, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The early prelims are scheduled to begin at 6:30pm EST on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+ with the prelim card starting at 8pm EST on ESPN and the PPV card starting at 10pm EST.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/7/2020.