Jon Jones returned to the top of the Light Heavyweight mountain at UFC 232 a few weeks ago, defeating Alexander Gustafsson via third round knockout to win back the vacant division title.
And while he already has another fight lined up — which will be against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada — the line is long with contenders eager to get their shot at the champ they call “Bones.” Among them is Dominick Reyes, the undefeated (10-0, 4-0 UFC) heavy-hitter who says he wants to be the one to end the Jones era.
“I would love to be the guy to dethrone Jones,” Reyes told MMAjunkie Radio. “It matters. That’s been the plan all along. I’ve kind of always wanted to fight Jones. I started fighting in 2012 and look at that – Jones was the guy then. So I’ve kind of been training for him the entire time.”
That’s why despite not completely counting out “Lionheart,” he hopes Jones wins in order to be able to be the one to hand the 205-pound superstar his first true loss in mixed martial arts (MMA).
“I want Jones to win, but I think Smith can catch him,” Reyes said. “Smith is a tough competitor. He throws those hands. If he goes out there and throws caution to wind, he might get him.”
While most fighters like to keep their respective gameplans to themselves, Reyes isn’t shy in revealing keys to taking out the champ. And while his take may be fairly simple, actually going in there and putting it to action against one of the, if not the best to ever do it, is easier said than done.
“When you fight Jones you’ve got to look at this: He’s got master strategists in his corner, he always follows the game plan. You need to understand, how will you beat yourself? Then you need to adapt, just like he adapts, mid-fight. You kind of have to go, ‘F the Jon Jones lore.’ You’ve got to forget that,” he added.
“He’s just a man. Fight him. Don’t be scared of him. Those things you need to beat Jones. I’m going to beat Jones if nobody else does.”
While Reyes hasn’t acquired the aura, record and wins like the many men who have fought and lost to Jones have, the 29 year-old is as legit as they come. Standing at 6’4” with the power to sleep his foes, Dominick shouldn't be counted out in a fight against “Bones” based on his short time in the game.
He will look to add another impressive win to his resume in order to get a title fight when he faces Volkan Oezdemir on March 16, 2019 at UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ 5 in London, England. With an impressive victory, Dominick could put himself in prime position to challenge Jones in the near future.
After all, Jon plans to be a busy champ in 2019.
Still, Jones has to take care of business against Smith, and Reyes has to do the same against “No Time” before we start playing matchmaker. That said, what chances do you give Reyes to take Jones out should they ever find themselves locked inside the Octagon together?