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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Dominick Reyes following tough loss to Jon Jones at UFC 247?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 247 blew the roof off Toyota Center last Sat. night (Feb. 8, 2020) in Houston, Texas. Plenty of fighters were left feeling the blues, including Katlyn Chookagian, who was outclassed and dominated by women’s Flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko (recap here).

And Ilir Latifi, who came up short in his Heavyweight debut against Derrick Lewis, despite putting up a valiant effort. But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Dominick Reyes.

After only 12 professional fights in mixed martial arts (MMA), Reyes found himself staring down perhaps the greatest UFC fighter of all time in Jon Jones. And if Reyes was nervous, you wouldn’t have known it, as he was high on confidence before the fight, and once the opening round started, he was all business.

And looked like a seasoned veteran.

“The Devastator” took it to the champ form the onset, like he said he would, knocking Jones down with a body shot, and clipping him quite a few times with his patented left hand. In the second frame, Reyes didn’t let up, going up two-zip on the 205-pound kingpin.

Then came round three, the one people had a hard time scoring. While Jones did push the pace a bit more, Reyes never stopped firing, clipping Jones with a some nice kicks to the body and a clean uppercut. To his credit, Jones absorbed the blows and didn’t show any signs of getting hurt.

Rounds four and five were all Jones thanks to takedowns scored in each round. While Reyes did pop up almost immediately, the points were already tallied up. Sure, Reyes did look a bit gassed in the championship rounds, but he was still popping off some offense and displaying his tremendous takedown defense (see the highlights). In my book, Reyes won three rounds to two, but it was very, very close. That said, it was not a robbery and it wasn’t controversial. It really could have gone either way and it seems just about everyone was torn on their own scorecards, except for this wacky judge.

Despite the loss, Reyes was in great spirits afterward. Though disappointed, he did find a silver lining and took his moral victory after nearly dethroning the longtime champion.

”For me this is huge validation,” Reyes said. “It’s the first time in my career that I’ve gone a full five rounds ... against Jon Jones, who is arguably the greatest of all time. And I put it on him. I took it to him. Man, I feel like I’m the people’s champ.”

This is going to be one of those cases where the loser comes out on top in the adoration department, as he will gain even more fans (and respect) from his colleagues following his performance.

An immediate rematch against “Bones” is likely not in the cards, though I’d definitely love to see it. Another fight I’d like to see is Reyes vs. Thiago Santos, but we are probably still a ways away from the return of “Marreta” after shredding his knee against Jones. If that fight can’t happen next, then I could see UFC booking Reyes against the loser of Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz.

Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

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