The UFC is desperate for a new rivalry to help put ratings over the top. Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes might just be the pair to allow this to happen. Fresh off of Jones’ victory over Reyes, the barbs have continued to fly as Reyes claims that he should have won the fight. The two should face off again, although if some fans get their way, it could be difficult to do.
Who are Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes?
UFC 247 was a heavily anticipated fight. On one end, there was the controversial Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. Jones is one of the best light heavyweight fighters in the entire UFC, but his success in the octagon is often overshadowed by his numerous suspensions for everything from a hit-and-run charge to doping.
Despite this, he remains one of the biggest names in the sport, and outside of a disqualification in 2017, Jones has not lost a fight outright since 2009. Jones was 25-1 entering the fight.
Reyes, on the other hand, has been fighting professionally since 2014. Leading into the fight against Jones, Reyes had not lost a single professional fight, entering the octagon with 12 wins, no losses, and seven knockouts to his name. Despite being relatively close in age to Jones, Reyes is newer to the big spotlight, but he was not afraid to take on Jones in the octagon.
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes
The fight was a riveting combination of brute power and Chessmaster strategy between the two fighters. Reyes came in looking to fight a speedy fight, and initially, it looked like Jones might fall for Reyes attack.
His attempts to slow the attack down were met with big shots, and after the first two rounds, it looked like Jones might be on the brink of his first outright loss in a decade.
The two exchanged blows throughout the fight, but after Reyes overcame a takedown attempt, the fight began to swing in Jones’ direction. Reyes looked tired, and his speed began to leave him. Jones looked like the more prepared fighter, and as the final bell rang, the close fight appeared as though it could end in any direction. After much deliberation, however, Jones won the unanimous decision, and with it, a record 14th UFC title fight win.
Who really won?
As most fights go, Reyes did not enjoy the judges’ decision. Although Jones did get the best of him over the last two rounds, Reyes believed that the first three were decisively his. UFC president Dana White and commentator Joe Rogan also expressed their surprise at the judges’ decision. Jones, however, feels like he did what he needs to do to win, claiming that every time he wins via a decision that there are people trying to downplay it.
“Dominic outstruck me by literally 12 shots,” Jones said (per the South China Morning Post).
“I scored the takedowns, was the aggressor, controlled the octagon every round, [and] had more significant strikes landed. Dom completely stopped fighting in the championship rounds and has the audacity to be mad at the judges.”
Reyes responded by challenging Jones to an immediate rematch in the near future, although if Jones does what many want him to do and changes weight classes, Reyes might need to follow suit if he wants the rematch to happen.
Is Jon Jones changing his weight class?
Several pundits, including ESPN’s Jeff Wagenheim, believe that Jones should move up to heavyweight if he wants to secure his legacy as one of the best to ever do it. He has shown that he can take on the light heavyweights, of which he lost to zero.
Jones isn’t out here ducking any challenges, but he has shown the light heavyweight division everything he has. Jones himself has implied that he might make the move, although he has not fully committed to doing so.
Whether Jones stays within his division and takes on Reyes once again or steps outside his comfort zone and challenges a whole new class of fighters to take him down, Jones remains one of the most watchable fighters in the UFC, and love him or hate him, he has a knack to bring intrigue that the sport has missed in recent years.