What started as a somewhat benign exchange between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes has become an official war of words. The celebrated light heavyweight champion and his undefeated challenger will settle their beef in the Octagon on Saturday in the main event of UFC 247. The main UFC 247 fight card begins at 10 p.m. ET. Jones (25-1-1) and Reyes (12-0) traded light-hearted verbal jabs when the fight was announced, but their exchanges have grown heated as the battle approaches.
The fourth-ranked Reyes has called the iconic champ "insecure," while Jones has referred to Reyes as a "child" in the sport. Jones is a -460 favorite (risk $460 to win $100), while Reyes is a +360 underdog (risk $100 to win $360) in the latest Jones vs. Reyes odds. In the co-main event on the UFC 247 card, women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (-950) defends her belt against top-ranked challenger Katlyn Chookagian (+650). Before making any UFC 247 picks, check out the MMA predictions from SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $19,000.
At UFC Fight Night 166, Marley told SportsLine members that Angela Hill (-160) would defeat Hannah Cifers (+140) in a strawweight bout on the main card. He reasoned that Hill's edge in striking skill and power would be the difference, and she proved him correct by overwhelming Cifers on her way to a second-round knockout.
What's more, at UFC 246, Marley told SportsLine members that Conor McGregor (-320) would make quick work of his return to the octagon following a 15-month layoff against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (+260). McGregor stopped Cerrone 40 seconds into the bout. Anyone who has followed Marley is way up.
Jones vs. Reyes preview
Now, with UFC 247 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He's sharing those selections only over at SportsLine.
The MMA analyst said he believes Jones is "the greatest fighter to ever live," but also acknowledges that the underdog Reyes has enough knockout power to pose a threat.
There are many MMA observers who believe Jones, 32, is fast running out of legitimate contenders in the light heavyweight division and might eventually have to move to heavyweight in order to find competitive bouts.
However, recent performances suggest the contenders might be closing the gap. Top-ranked challenger Thiago Santos pushed Jones wire to wire in their July bout despite suffering a torn ACL in the first round. Jones got by with a split-decision victory, and many observers were left wondering how the bout might have unfolded had Santos been at full strength.
Reyes, 30, has shown ample athleticism, speed and power while winning his first six UFC bouts against respectable opponents including Weidman, Volkan Oezdemir and Jared Cannonier. You can get all of Marley's UFC 247 predictions here.
Top UFC 247 predictions
For UFC Houston, Marley is backing Alex Morono (-260) to earn a decision victory against Kalinn Williams (+220) in a welterweight clash. Morono (17-5) will be among the crowd favorites since he is a Houston native who still lives and fights out of the UFC 247 host city. The 29-year-old is starting his fifth year with the promotion and has three straight victories to his credit. He took a unanimous decision over fellow prospect Max Griffin in October.
Williams (9-1) will be making his UFC debut. He has won six consecutive bouts and is stepping up from the WXC promotion. He prevailed by decision over Jeremie Holloway in November.
"William is steady on his feet and the more dangerous striker. However, he is sloppy and throws wild hooks, so Morono is likely the better all-around striker," Marley told SportsLine. "Morono will also have an edge on the mat. From what I have seen so far, I will lean toward Morono to win."
How to make UFC 247 picks
Marley also has strong picks for Reyes vs. Jones, Shevchenko vs. Chookagian and every other bout on the UFC 247 card. He's backing one fighter who "has a lot more ways to win." Get every pick for every fight at SportsLine.
Who wins Reyes vs. Jones? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 247, all from the expert who's up more than $19,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out.
UFC 247 odds for every fight
Jon Jones (-460) vs. Dominick Reyes (+360)
Valentina Shevchenko (-950) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+650)
Juan Adams (-260) vs. Justin Tafa (+210)
Mirsad Bektic (-135) vs. Dan Ige (+115)
Derrick Lewis (-290) vs. Ilir Latifi (+230)
Trevin Giles (-140) vs. Antonio Arroyo (+115)
Alex Morono (-250) vs. Kalinn Williams (+205)
Andrea Lee (-360) vs Lauren Murphy (+290)
Miles Johns (-135) vs. Mario Bautista (+115)
Domingo Pilarte (-140) vs. Journey Nelson (+120)
Andre Ewell (-120) vs. Jonathan Martinez (+100)
Austin Lingo (-210) vs. Youssef Zalal (+175)