17,401 fans packed the Houston Toyota Center to a new all-time revenue record for the venue ($3,549,418.00), all while witnessing Jon Jones and Valentina Shevchenko successfully defending their titles.
Heading into the main event, Jon Jones looked to join Demetrious Johnson with having the most title defenses (11) and he accomplished that, but it wasn’t as clear cut as Jones had anticipated.
Dominick Reyes entered the fight with an undefeated record, and showed why he’s a true contender for the title. Early in the fight, Reyes used his footwork and boxing to out point the champ, and even caused some damage to Jones’ face. But it Jones’ athleticism and fighter IQ that elevated him above Reyes, and help him retain his title.
Following the fight, there was a bit of controversy with the judge’s score cards. Although the judges scored the fight for Jones, there were many who felt that Reyes had won. Two judges scored the fight 3-2 for Jones, while the other judge scored it 4-1 for the champion.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) February 9, 2020
In the co-main event, Valentine Shevchenko successfully defended her flyweight title against the #1 contender, Katlyn Chookagian. On the feet, Shevchenko’s lighting fast combos would be effective in stalling Chookagain’s offense, but it was on the ground where significant damage was done.
In the opening round, Shevchenko cut Chookagain’s left eye with an elbow on the ground. She would later follow that up with a crucifix on the ground, and a barrage of elbows. After taking repeated unanswered shots, the ref was forced to stop the fight. With her third title defense, people have been calling for a super fight between Shevchenko and 2 division champion Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko is open for the trilogy fight, but says there are other women in the division left to fight.
Kicking off the main card was UFC fan favorite and #6 Derrick Lewis, welcoming #12 LHW Ilir Latifi to the heavyweight division. Lewis earned the decision victory, but it did not come easy for the ‘Knockout King’.
Lewis walked into the Octagon tied for the most knockouts in the heavyweight division (10), and looked to make history with number 11 in his backyard. Unfortunately for Lewis, Latifi carried his toughness up a weight class and did not go down easily, even though he took several flying knees to the head.
Lewis, who now claims to be in great shape and health, showed he is evolving as a fighter. We’ve seen Lewis throw head kicks and jumping knees in the past, but he looked more effective with the techniques than before. Latifi was able to keep the fight close by smothering Lewis whenever they clinch, but it was not enough to keep Lewis down.
- Jon Jones def Dominick Reyes via Unanimous Decision to retain light heavyweight title
- Valentina Shevchenko def Katlyn Chookagian via TKO – R3 to retain her flyweight title
- Justin Tafa def Juan Adams TKO – R1
- Dan Ige def Mirsad Bektic Split Decision
- Derrick Lewis def Ilir Latifi via Unanimous Decision
- Trevin Giles def Antonio Arroyo via Split Decision
- Khaos Williams def Alex Morono via Knockout (Punch) – R1
- Lauren Murphy def Andrea Lee via Split Decision
- Mario Bautista def Miles Johns via Knockout (Flying knee, punches) – R2
- Journey Newson def Domingo Pilarte via Knockout (Punch) – R1
- Andre Ewell def Jonathan Martinez via Split Decision
- Youssef Zalal def Austin Lingo via Unanimous Decision