UFC 247 Countdown: Full Episode

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At UFC 247, two of the UFC’s most dominant champs put their belts on the line as Jon Jones faces Dominick Reyes and Valentina Shevchenko takes on Katlyn Chookagian. See these athletes train and prepare ahead of their title bouts.

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>> Narrator: In all of
professional sports,
no stage is more solitary
than the UFC’s Octagon.
For those who set foot
on this hallowed canvas,
fate is theirs to determine.
>> Jon Anik: This man came in
with all the hype in the world!
>> Narrator: Victory,
only theirs for the taking.
>> Anik: And lives up
to it and then some!
>> Narrator: But for those who
consistently come out on top…
>> Brendan Fitzgerald:
Drops him!
>> Narrator: …
their shot at a UFC title,
over time becomes undeniable.
>> Reyes:
Winning is everything.
>> Anik: Dominick Reyes,
decisive as ever tonight!
>> Reyes: You win, you’ll have
everything you’ve ever wanted.
>> Buffer: Still undefeated!
>> Reyes: And to be
the best of all-time.
This is what I want.
>> Narrator: Towering
light heavyweight finisher
Dominick Reyes, has never
tasted defeat…
>> Anik: There is a new force to
be reckoned with at 205 pounds.
>> Narrator: … and in
this division,
all winning streaks
lead to the greatest
fighter of all time.
>> He’s in my lane.
If you want to be a
champ, want to be a winner,
go do it somewhere else.
>> Narrator: UFC light
heavyweight Jon Jones…
>> Joe: Oh, my goodness!
>> Narrator: … has redefined
the meaning of dominance.
>> Joe: He’s the
youngest ever,
UFC champion, avoided no
one, dominated everyone.
The most unique talent in
the history of the sport.
>> Narrator: … and at UFC 247,
Reyes looks to become the first
to dethrone a living legend.
>> You’re not
special, Dominick.
>> Oh, I’m the one.
>> I’m going to
get you, Dominick.
>> Narrator: The co-main event
presents another title holder,
who has dominated a
division unlike anyone else.
>> Brendan: Well since the
UFC opened the 125 pound
flyweight division, many
expected this to be
a forgone conclusion and
Valentina proved them all right.
>> Narrator:
Undefeated at 125 pounds,
champion Valentina Shevchenko…
>> Joe: She’s not just one
of the best women fighters,
she’s one of the best fighters.
>> Narrator: …has made a
career of shocking all comers.
>> Valentina: You
can’t expect something,
but when you feel the power,
it’s totally different.
>> Anik: Oh!
Valentina Shevchenko!
It’s going to take
a Herculean effort,
many would think, for
somebody to dethrone her.
>> Narrator: On February 8th she
will face number one contender
Katlyn Chookagian…
>> Joe: Oh, these are haymakers!
>> Narrator: …who stands
confident in the face of
an extraordinary challenge.
>> Katlyn: No matter
how I need to win,
I’m going to find that way
and I’m going to be
the UFC champion.
I want that title shot now.
>> Joe: Oh, high kick!
She caught her perfectly!
>> I want that shot.
[music]
>> Narrator: Step inside
the lives of champions
and contenders, as they
prepare to make history
in Houston, Texas.
This is UFC 247 Countdown.
[Birds chirping]
>> Narrator: For
over a decade,
the world’s best mixed martial
artist has gone to work in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Although imperfect by nature,
UFC light heavyweight champion
Jon Jones has been nothing
but sheer brilliance
inside the Octagon.
>> Let’s go. Ten squats!
Brings those hips in. Loosen up.
>> Narrator: …with
countless titles
and memorable performances,
brought on by hard work,
and the influence of an
iconic boxing counterpart.
>> Muhammed Ali, he’s a
big inspiration to me.
He’s a very courageous person
and I feel like he changed
all of sports.
>> Tap, tap. Stick.
Yes.
>> Jones: I keep them
around, his visual,
it’s a little bit of
an attraction for me, you know?
See a certain thing,
you want a certain thing.
Eventually obtain it.
>> Trainer: Scoop, yep.
Perfect.
>> He’s the first to
say, “I’m the greatest.”
You know?
And when people think
of being the greatest,
you think of Muhammed Ali.
That alone is an
inspiring thing.
[instrumental music]
>> Jones: As a fighter, I
want to have records where
you know, people know
they will never beat it.
Guys who are ten
years younger than me,
they know their
chances of beating it,
are slim to none.
I want to have
records like that.
>> Trainer: Eight, nine, ten.
Last one, Jon, right here.
Ready?
Fast feet.
>> Jones; I want those record
books and I want the greatest
of all-time conversation,
to not be much of a conversation
by the time I’m done.
>> Narrator: Like
any great story,
it’s best told
from the beginning…
>> Trainer: Three,
two, one, and go.
[grunting]
>> Trainer: Let’s
go, Jon. Big push, big push,
big push. Get it going,
get it going.
>> Narrator: …and the
story of Jon Jones as
UFC champion
[grunting]
>> Trainer: Done!
>> Narrator:…
all started in New Jersey,
on March 19th, 2011.
>> Jones: Ah, let’s go, baby!
My time, baby!
It’s my time, coach.
Let’s go, Jon Jones.
Let’s go, baby.
>> Remember what I told
you about the dogs barking.
They sound ferocious,
they’re on that fence.
But when it’s go time,
the Pitbull takes the neck.
>> Joe: You’re talking about
a guy who has so much going
for him; intelligent,
articulate, creative.
This guy’s got it.
>> Narrator: Since capturing
the UFC light heavyweight
title at 23 years of age,
>> Mike: Oh, my!
>> Joe: That, ladies and
gentlemen, is the future.
>> Narrator:…
Jon Jones has
been quite literally
unstoppable.
>> Joe: He’s
incredibly gifted,
amazingly talented young man.
>> Narrator: He took
down living legends…
>> Joe: Jon destroyed
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson,
Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans.
Jon has been beating
everybody they put
in front of him.
>> Narrator: … every
promising challenger
who followed.
>> Mike:
Alexander Gustafsson.
>> Joe: Jon Jones is
not willing to lose.
>> Mike: Glover Teixeira!
>> Joe: An incredible
performance by the champion.
>> Anik: Daniel Cormier,
the two time
United States Olympic wrestler.
>> Joe: Huge, huge
victory for Jon Jones.
>> Narrator: The promotion
threw the best
light heavyweights in the
world at Jones….
>> Joe: He’s just been
smashing and strangling.
>> Narrator: …
they all fell one by one.
>> Joe: You’ve
just seen domination.
>> Narrator: By 2019,
there was simply no one left.
>> Jones: Baby,
this team is unbroken!
And still!
>> Narrator: …
So middleweights began moving
up to light heavyweight,
to test their mettle
against the greatest.
>> Joe: Since moving up
to light heavyweight,
Anthony Smith
has been stellar.
>> Woo!
>> Trainer: No one can stop you,
Anthony Smith.
>> Anik: We’ve seen a lot of
big championship upsets
in UFC history.
>> Wow!
>> Narrator: Anthony
Smith looking to join
that club here tonight.
>> Joe: Jon’s just
getting off first,
over and over again.
>> Anik: Oh!
>> Joe: Beautiful
spinning elbow.
>> Anik: Nice.
>> Joe: Jon has been dictating
the pace, pressing the action.
Ooh.
>> Dominick Cruz: I don’t
know what Smith’s waiting on.
>> Joe: What’s
going on right now,
is he’s realizing why Jon Jones
is the best light heavyweight
of all-time.
>> Buffer: And still!
>> Joe: Now you have
to ask the question, who’s next?
>> Brendan: Thiago Santos,
no problems hitting
the light heavyweight limit, as
former middleweight.
>> Anik: Nice land
to the body by Jones.
>> Joe: Spinning back
kick to the body by Jon.
>> Joe: Oh, he
hurt him with that.
Oh!
Jones is very aware as
he closes the distance,
Thiago is looking to
take his head off.
>> Anik: Oh!
Man, Jones has a chin, didn’t
seem all that fazed by any
of those three
strikes that landed.
>> Paul Felder: Oh, man!
Sat him down.
>> Joe: Oh, nice kick.
Front kick to the body.
>> Paul: Starting to
play with him a little bit.
>> Joe: Jon’s
starting to beat him up.
>> Anik: Oh!
Big knee from Jones!
[horn sounds]
>> Anik: The path to
light heavyweight gold
still goes through Albuquerque,
New Mexico.
>> Narrator: After narrowly
fending off the first crop
of former middleweights,
a wave of 185 pound
crossovers continued.
>> Megan Olivi: Making his light
heavyweight debut tonight,
Luke Rockhold feels like this
will be his division.
>> Brendan: And here
he is, Jacare Souza as
a light heavyweight
contender tonight.
>> Narrator: With each
looking for their own shot at
the 205 pound champion.
>> Anik: This is a
northeastern showcase
for one of the
best to ever do it.
Chris Weidman, the former
UFC middleweight champion.
He’s 5-0 in UFC main events
and he’s got a new outlook
on life, here at 205 pounds.
>> Buffer: The
“All-American!”
>> Cormier: His move to
205 has rejuvenated him.
And tonight he feels like
he’s going to be as good as
he’s ever been.
>> Anik: For Chris Weidman,
a huge opportunity
to immediately vault himself
into the light heavyweight
division’s top five.
He said this whole training camp
has been rooted in grappling.
Oh!
Early knockdown for Reyes!
Weidman’s out!
>> Narrator: On a cool autumn
night last fall in Boston…
>> Cormier: Holy smoke.
>> Narrator: … a
true light heavyweight
made his presence known.
>> Anik: Dominick Reyes,
decisive as ever tonight!
>> Narrator: At six
foot four inches,
Dominick Reyes is no
middleweight transplant…
>> Cruz: Makes it look easy.
>> Narrator: ..but an
imposing 205 pound force
to be reckoned with.
>> Buffer: By TKO,
Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes!
>> Narrator: He hails from
the Victor Valley region
of Southern California,
where football is a way of life.
And long before
combat sports,
the Reyes brothers
became local sports stars,
at Hesperia High School.
>> This is the first time
I’m back on this track,
since I graduated back in 08′.
Man, frick’n, so
many memories.
Remember when we would be
smacking fools all day?
>> Danny: Oh, yeah, man.
We would always have to
debate what team was better?
I would say my
team is better,
because we were undefeated.
>> They say their
team was better,
think they were
better, but whatever.
I’m going to go to
my favorite seat.
Best seat in the house.
You know when the sun
sets on this field now,
it looks pretty badass.
>> Danny: It does.
>> It’s so weird
looking back on things,
because these are all things
I kind of forgot about.
Coming back is like, it’s
like remembering all this
[bleep] again.
>> Commentator: Suny rivals,
Albany and Stony-Brook,
took the field Saturday
at the opening round
of the FCS playoffs
at LaValle Stadium.
>> Reyes: My dream
was to play in the NFL,
just like every kid that
steps on every football field
and all throughout America.
Just my dream, I got
closer than most people.
>> Commentator:
And all of a sudden,
the Sea Wolves have
erased an 18 point deficit,
to lead by three.
>> I had a full
ride scholarship.
I started for four
years in college.
>> Commentator: Watch as the
play of the season unfolds.
Di Lella to the end-zone, it’s
tipped and picked off
by Dominick Reyes.
And that seals the
game for The Sea Wolves.
>> I was team captain
for two years in a row.
>> Commentator: They will
advance to the next round
of the FCS playoffs.
It just didn’t work out, man.
>> Reyes: My football
career came to a close,
because I wasn’t good enough.
That’s it.
That’s the bottom line.
Somebody decided I wasn’t
good enough and that was it.
I didn’t have
control of my destiny.
I have all the control now.
If you want something in
mma, you go out
and literally take it.
>> Narrator: With
NFL dreams cast aside,
Reyes now owns his
own fitness facility,
but the endeavor is merely a
compliment to his true passion,
a very successful
career in mixed martial arts.
>> Boom-boom.
Uh-huh.
>> Narrator: One where
his natural athletic
abilities from football…
>> Nice.
>> Narrator: …have
translated quite well.
[grunting]
>> Brendan: Keep your
eyes on Dominick Reyes
at light heavyweight.
>> Playing DB,
like I live in space.
I understand movement.
>> Anik: Reyes
presses forward,
follows up the
kick with punches!
>> Reyes:
Receivers running at you,
you have to make a
decision right now,
or he’s going to score.
And it has to be
the right decision.
>> Anik: Oh, massive
knockdown for Reyes!
>> Cruz: Oh, my
goodness it’s over!
>> Anik: This man came in
with all the hype
in the world and lives up
to it and then some!
>> Reyes: I understand
angles, ranges.
>> Joe: He’s really
adapted very quickly to mma.
His striking is outstanding.
He’s got great
submission skills.
>> Anik: There’s the tap.
>> Joe: His ability
to move in and out,
from side to side.
>> Brendan:
Landed the uppercut,
now kicks to the top.
>> Joe: He’s very
technical and fluid.
He’s a real hot prospect.
>> Brendan: Drops him!
Another first round finish!
Quick work.
>> Reyes: I’m
tall, fast, and, powerful.
>> Joe: Oh, big elbows.
Big left hands by Reyes.
>> Anik: Combination
on the feet from Reyes.
>> Paul You just a look at
that guy and he lays out
a big straight punch, man,
he’s going to damage you.
>> Anik: Oh!
Right at the gun!
>> Joe: You came into
this fight tonight,
a prospect, you
leave a top contender.
>> Buffer: Still undefeated!
>> I’m dangerous, man.
>> Anik: Would hate to get
cracked by that guy
in the backfield, now he’s
cracking people in the UFC.
>> Now it’s time
to take out Jones.
I’m coming for you, Jon.
I’m coming for you.
>> Narrator: Reyes’ win
over Chris Weidman,
improved his record
to a perfect 12 and 0.
>> Anik: If you were looking
for a result to make people
want to see you fight
Jon Jones for the title,
can’t do much
better than that.
>> Go get the belt.
>> Narrator: Which earned him
a February 8th title shot,
against the one and
only Jon “Bones” Jones.
>> Trainer: Come
on, let them go!
>> Reyes: I’m
super dangerous,
Jones is super dangerous, and
we’re going to collide in
the middle of the Octagon
and we’re going to see who is
the more dangerous man.
>> Anik: There is a new force to
be reckoned with at 205 pounds,
Dominick Reyes!
>> Narrator: One of the first
known super-camps of
mixed martial arts, was the
Jackson Wink Academy
in Albuquerque,
which is responsible for
numerous UFC champions.
The most notable beneficiary
of this gym’s backing,
has been reigning
light heavyweight king,
Jon Jones.
And his team is
stronger today,
than ever before, with a
stable of local coaches,
and incoming specialists
like nutrition expert,
Lou Giordano.
>> I’ve been blessed to
be in a lot of camps,
I’ve never seen a
team work together,
the way that
this teams works;
mentally, physically,
emotionally.
It’s unbelievable and it’s
humbling to be around, you know?
I got to like pinch
myself every once in awhile.
So let’s just take this down
to Jon and let him eat it up.
>> What’s up, dude?
>> Hey, man.
Woo!
>> Thank you, man.
This is awesome.
>> Appreciate you.
>> I’m telling you, fine–
fine-tuned machine around here.
You guys want to pray in?
>> Yeah.
>> If you’re
around Team Jones,
you’ll notice a
lot of prayer.
>> Father, I thank you
for gathering us here, Lord.
We just ask that you
continue to bless this team,
Lord and continue to
give us the wisdom,
and strength, Lord.
>> Jones: And I’ve noticed
since we started praying as
a unit, our vibe as a unit
has gotten so much stronger.
>> We truly love you in
Jesus’ precious name.
Amen.
>> Amen.
Alright.
Getting grown men
to get in a circle,
hold hands, and look each
other in the eyes for
a moment and just connect
on a different level.
>> So let’s start with
a schedule real quick.
>> Okay.
>> Make sure we’re good for
this week and then we’ll
all watch tape.
>> Izzy, this week you
got Tuesday morning,
Wednesday morning.
>> Izzy: Thursday morning.
>> Jones: Has given us so
much strength as a program.
It took us from being a team,
to more of a family unit.
We going to spar
Thursday and Wednesday?
>> Man: I can get to it.
>> Narrator:
From mind to body,
and from planning to execution,
this team’s formula for
championship level success,
is withstanding
the test of time.
>> Jon’s career has been
evolving and I think there
has been a lot of wonderful
moments in his career,
because heh as the
right people around him.
>> Hey, guys,
shout out to my team.
>> Izzy: And
he’s still going.
>> Jones: This is our 14th
world title and it’s coming
back to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
>> Anik: From Johnny Bones, it’s
been all about “we” and not “I.”
That is a closely knit
team: Mike Winkeljohn
and Brandon Gibson right there.
The path to light heavyweight
gold still goes through
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
>> We’ve been doing
this for a long time,
but the more and more we
spend around each other,
the better we are.
>> See what this shirt says.
It says “unbroken” baby.
This team is unbroken.
>> This Jackson-Wink
gym is a special place.
>> 22, 23, 24.
>> Jones: I’m a big fan of
looking at yourself as being
someone of ordinary.
>> 18, 19, 20, 21.
>> Jones: And when you focus
your ideas and you can do
extraordinary things.
I’m so grateful for the team
of guys I have in my life.
I owe this win to them.
We are proof that teamwork
collaboration communication
can do anything.
One, two, three, four.
One-two-three.
One-two- three. Good job, guys.
Looking around, you’ll
see, what I believe
is the greatest mixed
martial arts program
in the world’s history.
>> 16, 17, 18, 19.
>> To the promised
land, gentlemen.
You guys ready to work?
[everyone saying “yes, sir]
>> Here we go.
A lot of normal guys, that are
doing extraordinary things.
From relationships to
morals, to everything.
I’m really fortunate and
blessed to have such great
leaders in my life.
>> Man: Who am I!
[everyone screaming “‘I’m
the champion!]
>> Yeah!
[everyone screaming “Woo”]
[clapping]
>> Jones: Woo-hoo.
>> Narrator: Take a short
drive outside the sprawling
county of Los Angeles
California,
and you will encounter a
vast expanse of desert.
[instrumental music]
>> Narrator: The first
arid town beyond LA’s
lush cityscape, is Hesperia.
Where Jon Jones’ next
opponent Dominick Reyes
came of age.
>> Reyes: It’s
a gritty place, man.
What soft animal
comes out of the desert?
Nothing.
You got to be
tough to live here.
I was born and raised here.
And I think that has a lot to do
with why I’m where I’m today.
It’s a tough culture here.
>> Narrator: This local
culture pays no mind to
the weak
and Reyes has been
hardened from day one,
by the first wrestling
coach he’s ever had.
A highly respected veteran, with
UFC championship experience.
>> Joe: Joe Stevenson is
at the top of the heap.
He’s a very stern
test for BJ Penn.
He has all the
potential in the world.
>> Commentator: It’s
all about what you do
with your opportunities.
[grunting and exerting with
every punch]
>> Buffer: The new UFC
lightweight champion!
>> Mike: Stevenson
overwhelmed with emotion.
>> Joe: Sometimes you
know when you lose a fight,
you learn a lot more than
you do when you win a fight.
>> I got to
fight for the title.
I just don’t want people to make
the same mistakes I made.
You know, a lot of
times people will make it,
then they forgot
what got them there.
Or they get distracted and
then start losing fights.
Dominick, he’s been able to
be level-headed and that’s
all you can ask for.
>> Man: Alright,
guys, grab a partner!
Combo for combo!
Combo for combo!
>> Narrator: In preparation
for the five round title bout
with Jon Jones, Stevenson
places Reyes
in a humbling sparring session.
>> Stevenson: We’re starting
with Jamal and Dominick.
The first round and the last
round and then a fresh guy,
each minute.
>> Narrator: One
known in combat sports,
as the, “Shark Tank.”
>> Three, two, one!
>> Stevenson: Having a
fresh guy rotate on you,
every minute, is
different style,
different person.
You can’t get any reads.
You have to make short
adjustments right then
and there.
There we go.
Rotate!
>> Reyes: It’s designed to
put you in crappy positions,
so that when you’re in
those crappy positions
in the fight, it’s normal.
>> Stevenson: There
we go, there we go!
>> Reyes: It messes
with your psyche,
it makes you feel like
you’re not enough every time.
And it’s good though,
it keeps you sharp.
>> Time!
Rotate!
Let’s go, Dominick!
Here we go!
>> Reyes: Mental toughness
is the name of the game.
>> Here we go. There we go.
Step through.
Rotate!
Nice!
Very good!
Now it’s all you.
[breathing in exhaustion]
>> Three minutes, three minutes!
This is where we go harder!
Right!
This third minute for
you is going to be
make or break for them.
Break them.
Break them.
In their head now!
They’re thinking how
much time is left.
If they want a way
out, give them a way out!
I don’t want him to say
“I fought for the title.”
I want him to say,
“I won the title.”
I want him to say, “I
defended the title.”
And he’s got a great chance.
The ref wants to stop it!
Take it over from them.
>> I’m going to win.
It will be, “And new light
heavyweight world champion.”
>> Stevenson: Time!
Everyone knows without
a shadow of a doubt,
gotta take everything.
>> Narrator: Some of the best
athletes to ever represent
the Hesperia High School
Scorpions,
>> Man: Ready….sprint!
>> Narrator: …are the Reyes
brothers and wrestling standouts
Danny, along with UFC
light heavyweight title
challenger Dominick,
>> Danny: Partner up!
Level two, singles!
>> Narrator: …continue
to support the program.
>> Me and my brother would
smash each other into that
panel right
there, all the time.
He would try to
put me into it,
to try to get me
out of practice.
It was awesome.
>> Danny: There
you go, come on.
Come on. Come on.
>> Looking back on it, that
set the groundwork for what
I’m doing now.
>> Let’s go! Up jogging.
Up jogging!
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!
>> I’ve not had a season in my
life where I didn’t play sports.
>> Sprint!
>> Reyes: Really pushing it
and being the best
on the team.
All those skills I’ve
obtained in all the other
sports you know?
The hand-eye coordination
from baseball.
Toughest group on campus.
The toughness from wrestling,
the balance from wrestling.
I can now use all
those skills and all those
abilities in fighting.
>> Danny: Five
wall touches, go!
>> Reyes: And I don’t think
Jon has ever fought anyone
with my sport’s IQ.
>> Danny: Pick it up!
>> He’s fought wrestlers,
he’s fought strikers,
but never athletes.
>> Danny: Three, two, one!
Time, recover!
What are you fighting for?
What are you working for?
>> Narrator: UFC light
heavyweight champion
Jon Jones, is preparing for his
15th consecutive title fight,
and always studies his opponents
in extraordinary detail.
>> Man: Three, four, five.
>> Narrator: At times, he
understands his adversaries,
on a deeper level
than they may expect.
>> Man: Three, four, five.
>> I really don’t like
people like Dominick,
to be honest with you.
He’s always had it all.
You know he’s
always been the starter,
and he’s always
been the jock,
he’s always
been the cool kid.
He has his degrees in
[bleep] and he thinks
he’s smarter than people.
He thinks he’s more
athletic than people.
[canvas thumping
from foot shuffling]
>> Jones: And he’s convinced
himself that these common traits
in elite level athletes are
somehow different in him.
>> There you go.
[pads thumping]
>> Newsflash, we’re all
elite level athletes here.
[pads thumping and grunting]
>> All day we’re
just warming up.
[grunting]
>> All day.
But at the same time, I
think we all know for a fact
he hasn’t fought someone as
athletic as me.
>> Joe: Oh,
spinning back fist!
>> Mike: That hurt him!
>> Narrator: The Octagon is
a crucible for
showcasing athletic ability.
>> Mike: How good was that!
>> Narrator: Where for
years, Jon Jones has put on
a magnificent display.
>> Joe: Jones has got a
real unorthodox striking.
Beautiful takedown.
>> Mike: Jones
likes the throws!
>> Joe: He’s got
outstanding wrestling,
great technique,
great athleticism.
>> Mike: Oh, my!
>> Joe: The distance he
throws kicks and you can’t
hit him, is pretty substantial.
Jon’s left leg is so dynamic.
>> Mike: He stopped
him with that elbow.
>> Joe: Another example of
how crazy and unpredictable,
Jon Jones is.
>> Mike: And another elbow!
>> Narrator: The most perplexing
enigma in the sport’s history…
>> Joe: That is a
brilliant move!
>> Narrator: … is
never deciphered.
>> Cruz: That’s
what he’s doing,
he’s switching up the
kicks; he goes low,
he goes high, he goes
knee, he goes elbow.
Different looks always
and each strike sets up
the next one.
>> Narrator: But oncoming
challengers
continue to observe
with confidence.
[pedals creaking]
>> Reyes: Before I was
booked to fight Jon,
I would watch his
fights just as a fan.
>> Cruz: Jon showing
good footwork too here.
Moving well, side-to-side,
switching stance.
Alex is on him right now,
keeping the pace the way
he needs to.
Keeping the pressure.
>> Reyes: I didn’t really
delve into his like little
techniques or his mistakes,
or everything that was going on.
I was just watching
and enjoy the fights.
>> Anik: Two minutes
gone by, here in round one.
Oh, lead elbow
from Jones lands.
>> Joe: And a nice front
kick to the body as well.
>> Reyes: I think he’s one of
the greatest ever for a reason.
I’ve watched the film
and that becomes more
and more evident.
>> Anik: Good
entry there by Jones!
He gets his first takedown.
[Joe on TV]:
Jon Jones on top.
>> It also becomes
more and more evident,
that he’s just a man.
>> Joe: Jon is not
enjoying going
backwards constantly like this.
>> Just like any of
us, man, just a man.
And there’s many ways to
beat him and I’m here
to make that happen.
The more I watch film, the
more I realize how much fun
this is going to be.
This is going to be fun.
>> Dominick, two and a
half years from UFC debut,
to now fighting the man that
many say is the greatest
of all-time.
What’s the feeling
like at this moment?
>> I’m pumped, man.
I’ve worked
extremely hard to get here.
I’m completely different
than anybody he’s ever faced.
>> Everyone’s undefeated
before they fight me, bro.
>> No, they’re not.
They’re not though.
They’re really not though.
>> You’re not
special, Dominick.
>> Oh, I’m the one.
Promise you.
[crowd cheering]
>> Reyes: When I
went on stage with him,
there was an air of
insecurity all over his body
and I was like, “What
the heck is going on?
Like this is
supposed to be the guy.”
>> Jones: Bro, I’m
going to get you.
I’m going to get
you, Dominick.
>> Reyes: Alright, let’s see.
>> Jones: You know it.
>> Reyes: He looked into
my eyes and saw I was down.
It bothers him, it
really bothers him,
because I’m not
taking a step back.
I don’t care what
you did before.
What matters is what
happens on February 8th.
I’m in his head!
>> Bro, you’re disrespectful.
You’re disrespectful
to the wrong one.
Since I’ve been 23 years old,
I had to teach myself how
to look at some of the most
dangerous men in the eyes
and let them know that I’m here.
>> Joe: This confidence, this
is what comes from being
the youngest ever UFC champion
and defend it several times.
>> Jones: So some guy who is
a football player
is thinking that I’m afraid.
I find that hysterical.
>> Reyes: Hey, Jon,
I want that belt, baby.
Let’s go!
>> Cruz: What I see here, is
somebody who is just ready
to go do their job.
Oh, my goodness it’s over!
>> Anik: Dominick Reyes!
Man!
>> Jones: He feels the power
of just being in this fight.
>> Anik:
Dominick Reyes, folks!
>> Jones: He’s more
famous than he’s ever been.
>> Joe: Dominick
Reyes putting on a show.
>> Anik: There’s the tap!
>> Joe: Oh, that’s it!
>> Jones: For a
lot of fighters,
this is making it.
You’re fighting against
someone who is known as
the best fighter ever.
>> Joe: Jon has been beating
everybody they put
in front of him.
It gives you this energy
that you’ve always wanted,
even though you
haven’t won the title.
You’re not going
to win the title.
This isn’t the [bleep] you’re
used to, Dominick.
>> Narrator: To this day, the
best light heavyweights
to ever compete, all fell
to the great Jon Jones.
>> Joe: It’s a
man against boys.
I mean this is just the story
of every Jon Jones fight.
>> Narrator: But Reyes
remains fearless on the brink
of his chance to
rewrite history at UFC 247.
>> Anik: Oh, early
knockdown for Reyes!
>> Cruz: Big punches!
>> Anik: Weidman’s out!
If you were looking for an
outcome to make people want
to see you fight Jon
Jones for the title,
can’t do much
better than that.
>> Reyes: You won
all these fights,
beat all these people.
>> Anik: Cormier is down!
That is it!
Jon Jones has done it!
>> Now it’s time for you to get
a taste of your own medicine.
>> Anik: There is a new force to
be reckoned with at 205 pounds.
Dominick Reyes!
And it’s time for you to go!
>> Brendan: Is this his moment?
>> Narrator: The world’s
leading MMA promotion
is expanding its footprint
in Las Vegas Nevada,
and the latest addition to
the UFC’s growing campus
is the Apex, home to an arena
that accommodates
its Contenders series
as well as a brand-new
training center
which supplements the
nearby Performance Institute.
>> Forrest: It’s
very, like, private.
A different feel.
I figured you would like it.
>> I like it already.
>> Forrest: It’s less
people and it’s just, yeah.
It’s just training here, so.
>> I like it.
I like it.
>> Forrest:
Performance Institute was
so popular that it became,
you know, a little bit of a
victim of its own success,
and we need a little more space.
This is as nice as the
rings that they fight in,
in like Mandalay Bay and such.
The Apex mirrors the
one across the street,
so that way we can
truly have people
that are going to
fight each other
never come in contact
with each other.
>> It’s me.
>> There you go.
>> Valentina: It’s very amazing
because there is no much people
and you can train and work your
technique as much as you want.
>> So this is the 30′ actual,
you know, full octagon.
So we have the one over there.
But then, like, you know,
I know you like to train
around the time you fight too.
So, they can come over here
and use this octagon
around that time as well.
That’s the 25th anniversary–
the one in Denver.
>> And with all the real
blood on it, right?
>> Yeah.
>> Valentina: It’s beautiful.
It has everything, the ring,
the octagon, mats, walls.
So, I will be back
here very soon.
>> Narrator: UFC flyweight
champion Valentina Shevchenko
is one of many fighters
who have permanently
relocated to Las Vegas
for the amenities that have
become so readily accessible.
Such perfected training
grounds are an ideal backdrop
for athletes like Shevchenko,
who were bred by combat
from any early age.
♪♪
♪♪
>> Valentina:
I cannot say that martial arts
is a part of myself.
No. Martial arts is myself.
It’s me.
♪♪
Before I became UFC champion,
I was 17-time World Muay Thai
and K-1 champion.
>> Let’s do shadow boxing.
Shadow boxing.
>> Valentina:
And to became a champion,
it’s a factor of many things.
You have to
dominate everything.
You have to be perfect boxer.
>> Joe: Shevchenko’s far
more technical as a striker.
She’s very
difficult to hit clean.
Look at that.
You can’t just uncork on her.
She’s not gonna
be there for that.
She’s gonna make adjustments.
>> Valentina: With your legs,
you have to be the
perfect Muay Thai fighter.
>> Daniel: It’s very
difficult to attack Shevchenko
because she’s such a
good counter striker.
>> Joe: Oh! Wheel kick!
>> Daniel: And she can do
so many different things.
She can counter with
kicks and punches.
>> On the ground, you
have to know everything.
>> Brian: She
attempts an armbar here.
She’s got enough
time to finish it.
This is tight!
>> Jon: There’s the tap!
>> Valentina: You have to
be the universal fighter.
>> Joe: I mean, this is a
Valentina highlight reel here.
>> Narrator: Shevchenko won
the UFC flyweight belt…
>> Joe: What timing on that!
>> Paul: So good.
>> Joe: Ooh!
>> Narrator: …by outclassing
former strawweight champion
Joanna Jedrzejczyk in
every facet of martial arts,
and subsequent title defenses
have shown The Bullet’s
true dominance.
>> Joe: She’s not just one
of the best women fighters.
She’s one of the best fighters.
She really has no
weakness in her game.
Her overall game is
so comprehensive.
Right away, hard
kick to the body.
I mean, that sounds like
someone is slapping the bag
with a baseball bat.
Oh, head kick, that’s it!
Oh, my God!
Wow.
That is one of the most
brutal KOs we have ever seen.
>> Valentina: I face so
many different fighters,
so many different styles.
>> Brendan: Well,
since the UFC opened
the 125-pound
flyweight division,
many expected this to be
a foregone conclusion,
and Valentina
proved them all right.
>> Valentina: And you can never
underestimate your opponent.
You can never have your
training camp halfway.
>> Paul: Oh,
combinations from Shevchenko.
Sits down Carmouche.
>> This is the
mindset that I have.
I’m studying everything,
every single detail
that I have to know about
the fight and my opponent.
>> Jon:
It’s gonna take a Herculean
effort, many would think,
for somebody to
dethrone her at 125.
[dramatic music]
♪♪
>> Narrator: Although
seemingly untouchable,
Shevchenko welcomes
all challengers
and the next contender
set to test her will
against the formidable champ
hails from the Empire State.
>> Let’s start on this side.
Jab, jab, back, back, one-two.
Jab cross on the cones.
>> Narrator: Katlyn Chookagian
is somewhat of a pioneer
of women’s MMA in New York.
>> Good. Jab, cross, pop out.
And then go.
>> Narrator: And the region’s
all-time greatest female fighter
gives back at every turn.
>> Katlyn: Down here
we’re gonna do uppercut hook.
Now watch, when we
dip to the right,
we step with the right foot.
I started just the women’s only
class just because, you know,
for girls to go into an MMA
gym, it’s very intimidating.
Good.
In– hook.
They walk in and
they see, like,
dudes with tattoos all over,
and you know, it’s scary.
So, I kinda wanted to
create an atmosphere
where they’re
comfortable coming in.
Because I know once girls start
training, they’re comfortable,
but it’s just that
initial getting in the door.
Right uppercut, yeah.
Left up.
Left uppercut.
Perfect.
>> That’s kind of
how I got started.
One!
Two!
One-two!
Three!
One-two-three!
Once I started, I
was, like, so hooked.
I definitely became obsessed
with training at a young age.
But I just always
wanted to be the best.
>> Narrator:
In order to be called the very
best at 125 pounds,
Chookagian must
accomplish a feat
which no female
flyweight ever has…
>> Jon: Oh!
>> Narrator: …take down the
terrifying Valentina Shevchenko.
>> Joe: Oh, my God.
>> Daniel: Oh, my God.
>> Joe: She is out cold.
That woman is a
straight-up assassin.
>> Tony: Alright, 15 and then
we’re gonna go some rope work.
Yeah.
Step backs and the, um,
yeah wanna go some rotations.
On rope and then we’ll work
over to pure motion on that.
>> Katlyn: People
always look at fighters
and their last fights
and assume that that’s
what’s gonna happen.
>> Here fire.
>> Katlyn: But each fight
is completely different.
>> So, it starts now.
Three, two, one. Fire!
Good.
Okay, now down fast, up fast.
Fire! Good.
Pull back.
Katlyn enhances her abilities
at an exponential rate.
So, when people see Katlyn
a fight or two ago, she’s gone.
You’ll– that’s not the
Katlyn you’ll be seeing
in the next fight.
Hands up, off there. Good.
Day in and day out,
she does everything that’s
absolutely necessary to excel.
Good, Kate.
That’s it. Right.
Pretty, pretty.
Yeah, that’s it.
React. Good.
>> Narrator: Chookagian has
improved leaps and bounds
since entering the UFC
as an undefeated two-weight
champion from local promotions,
employing a unique
offense that never rests.
>> Jon: Good footwork
from Chookagian here,
and she just does not stop
with the forward motion
and pressure.
Oh, nice uppercut.
Stick and move for Chookagian.
Big knee for Chookagian!
>> Brendan: She is definitely
a woman to watch here.
>> Valentina just hasn’t
fought anyone like me.
>> Joe: Good spinning back–
oh, high kick!
She caught her perfectly!
>> I move so much.
>> Dominick: You never
see her really sit still.
She’s always firing the jab.
Katlyn moving her feet the
whole time while she’s punching.
Next thing you know, you
walk into a huge shot.
>> Joe: She’s hurt bad!
>> Katlyn: A lot of footwork,
a lot of head movement.
>> Dominick: She’s not
moving in straight lines.
She’s circling always.
>> Katlyn: People swing and
they miss and I’m outta there.
>> Joe: She’s just so good
at getting out of the range
of her opponent.
She can hit you,
but you can’t hit her.
>> Katlyn: My style is
frustrating for other opponents
and it makes them look bad,
and that’s what’s gonna
happen with Valentina.
>> Katlyn “Blond Fighter”–
>> Joe: Where do you feel
your next move will be?
>> I mean, the UFC
knows exactly who I want.
I want that title shot now.
I want that shot.
♪♪
>> Narrator: The extravagance
of the Las Vegas Strip
is unrivaled…
♪♪
with no shortage of options
for adventure seekers,
like UFC flyweight champion
Valentina Shevchenko.
>> The champ is here!
So happy to see you, young lady.
In Las Vegas, there’s always
a bunch of things to do.
>> My coach Pavel.
>> Pleasure, sir,
my name’s Dave.
>> Pavel.
>> How’re you guys doing?
You guys ready to fly?
Only place you can do
indoor skydiving is here.
It’s a killer training
tool for skydivers,
but it’s also a super fun toy.
>> We’ll talk about
everything together,
then we gear up and go fly.
The best way to learn
is to get in there,
play around,
have some fun, okay?
Are you ready?
>> Yes, I am.
Being UFC champion,
you can enjoy every
single day of your life.
And skydiving–
indoors skydiving,
it’s a very amazing
experience, flying.
>> Alright, are we ready?
♪♪
>> In a little bit, it
looks like swimming,
but it’s different
because it’s air.
You’re flying.
♪♪
I feel addicted right now.
♪♪
♪♪
I definitely want
to get back in there
and learn some new techniques
of working your body,
same way I do in martial arts.
>> Valentina, our wall of fame
is calling your name.
>> I would love to come back.
>> Dave: Any time you want.
>> Definitely.
>> Dave: Please do not hesitate.
We’d love to have you.
♪♪
>> Narrator:
There is no shortage of
excitement in Sin City,
but across the country
in Long Island, New York,
Katlyn Chookagian,
along with husband and fellow
pro fighter Kyle Cerminara,
enjoy the more
leisurely ventures
of a suburban lifestyle.
>> Katlyn: As soon
as we moved here,
my husband’s like,
“We gotta get a boat.”
I was like, “Wait, we
just bought the house.”
>> Ready?
>> Yup.
Obviously, I wanted one,
but I was trying to be
a little more responsible
in making that decision.
I had to bundle him up.
We bought a boat without
even knowing how to drive it,
and we just kind
of figured it out.
>> Kyle: In summer,
we’re out every single day.
She trains and we
go to the beach.
Those are the only
two things we do.
♪♪
>> Narrator: No matter
the time of year,
relaxation is always balanced
with constant training
and Chookagian is
growing accustomed
to an added presence
on the daily grind.
>> Katyln: I never thought that
I really needed someone else
to give me, like,
emotional support for fighting.
Since meeting my husband
I realize how much
that support can help you.
He’s competed at a high level
for his whole life,
so he understands the grind
of training every day.
Having him there to support me,
that’s been really helpful.
>> Narrator: On the days
when this combat couple
treks deep into Manhattan,
they do so for training
at New York’s most prestigious
jiu-jitsu academy…
>> Hey!
>> Narrator: …one
founded by an early staple
of the Gracie family lineage.
>> Announcer: Renzo Gracie!
>> One of the most feared
fighters in mixed martial arts.
>> Narrator:
One of Renzo Gracie’s
most dedicated students…
>> Commentator:
Gracie jiu-jitsu wins again.
>> Narrator: …is 5th degree
black belt John Danaher,
who has helped build the
academy’s top athletes
into world champion
MMA fighters.
♪♪
>> John: We have a large number
of very talented athletes
that have worked out of here
for a very long period of time.
Some of them, of course,
fought in the UFC.
>> Joe: Oh!
>> Jon: GSP drops Bisping!
>> John: Georges St-Pierre
is the guy
who’s most associated
with the Academy.
>> Jon: He is the new
UFC middleweight champion!
>> Chris Weidman,
people like this.
You get the half guard, you
try to get chest to chest more.
>> Joe: He’s in a lot
of trouble here.
He’s getting tagged.
>> John: And Katlyn’s
becoming part of that now.
First you take the head
out of position.
Expose the back of the hip.
Take everything down to the mat.
>> Katlyn: Any day you
go in there for class,
there’s probably,
like, 70 people training.
>> John: Let’s give
it a try fellows.
♪♪
Now go to the second stage,
where I catch my training
partner here at the leg
and I pull my body
around the corner
and my tight waist
takes the man up and over.
>> They only train jiu-jitsu.
They’re the best in the world.
>> My knee is behind his head,
so when he tries to
pull his head free,
it’s awfully,
awfully difficult.
>> Katlyn: And just
being under John Danaher,
I think I’m at a huge advantage.
♪♪
>> Narrator:
Danaher’s insight is backed
by his obsessive intrigue
in unique style matchups…
and the pairing of Chookagian
with flyweight champ
Valentina Shevchenko
is especially captivating.
>> John: Fake right,
circle left. Good.
Let’s punch our way out
of bad position, Katlyn.
The most interesting
matches always where
there’s a big discrepancy in
various elements of the skills
the two athletes
bring to the table.
This is a good example here.
Moving the head after we punch.
Follow with a kick next time.
That’s it.
One is an incredible
counter puncher
who’s based her game
around strength of stance.
>> Joe: She’ll slide back
and pop that short
little right hook in there.
>> Daniel: You see the traps
get set by Valentina.
You see Amanda trying to
figure out the puzzle.
>> Kate, on the other hand,
is more of a volume worker
who stays in front of people,
moving around,
and uses volume of the strikes
to wear people down over time.
>> Daniel: Katlyn is the one
that’s going first, going last.
>> Joe: Oh!
>> Daniel: Nice right hand.
>> You’ve got that instantaneous
power versus volume.
Good, well done.
>> Joe: She doesn’t
move way away.
She moves just enough away,
and she’s always right there.
>> Jon: Ooh!
>> It’s a fascinating thing
thing to coach for.
Lateral motion. Very good.
Active lead hands.
>> Katlyn:
Her type of style of just
countering isn’t gonna work
against someone that
moves all the time,
so I see her getting frustrated
and then making a little bit
more mistakes.
>> Narrator: Another contender
enters a bout with the champion
supremely confident…
but flyweight queen Valentina
Shevchenko has seen it all.
>> Valentina: It’s funny, you
know, seeing, like, opponents,
what they’re, like,
speaking about before the fight.
Frustration to make this,
to make that.
It’s so funny because I
will never let them do it.
>> Joe: Oh!
>> Michael: Two words
describe Shevchenko: Ice Cold.
She’s’ an ice cold killer.
>> Valentina: Go inside
the octagon and do my job.
>> Joe: Oh, my God.
>> Valentina: This is
what we are training for.
>> Joe: And look at her
walking around the octagon.
>> Narrator: Dominant champions
Valentina Shevchenko…
>> Joe: She is a
straight up assassin.
>> Narrator: …and
Jon “Bones” Jones…
>> Joe: His gift, his mind,
like no one else.
He’s just designed for this.
>> Narrator:
…take center stage
as the challengers
aim to test their wills.
>> Joe: We have a division
that’s dominated
by such an incredibly
talented fighter.
>> Narrator: Can
Katlyn Chookagian…
>> Joe: To see the up
and coming contenders
rise to the occasion.
>> Narrator:
…and light heavyweight
challenger Dominick Reyes…
>> Jon: Dominick Reyes.
Did he bite off
more than he can chew
in calling out Jon Jones?
>> Narrator: …shock the world.
>> Jon: Decisive
as ever tonight!
>> Narrator: We will all
find out on February 8th,
in Houston Texas.
>> Joe: There’s a big difference
between studying tape
and then being inside
the octagon with this guy.

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