It took six fights — and 2.5 years — for Dominick Reyes, 30, to earn a Light Heavyweight title fight opposite the most dominant 205-pound champion ever, Jon Jones, at UFC 247 tonight (Sat., Feb. 8, 2020) inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Despite his lack of experience in big fights, “Devastator” did not lack confidence — he said all the right things in the build up to the pay-per-view (PPV) main event.
But talk is cheap in mixed martial arts (MMA) — he was locked in side a cage with the greatest fighter of all time and he would have to fight his way out of it. In the end, Reyes opened a ton of eyes with his gritty performance, but faded down the stretch en route to losing a super competitive unanimous decision (watch highlights).
Reyes came out firing with a straight left, while Jones ducked under and briefly attempted a takedown before abandoning it. Reyes rakes Jones’ leg with a low kick, while Jones countered with the high variety. Inside leg kick for Reyes scores once again — his strategy is clear from the outset. Jones went for another low kick, but Reyes caught him with a straight shot to the gut that put him on his butt. Reyes began to open up as Jones retreated, looking to recover and regroup. Reyes continued to push the pace, not allowing Jones to rest. Reyes launched a high kick, but Jones blocked it well. Jones flicked a high kick of his own as the round came to a close, while Reyes’ pace clearly dwindled in the final minute.
Reyes came out firing off low kicks, while Jones moved forward, looking to find an opening. Reyes then flipped the script, unloading a barrage of strikes that put Jones on the run. Nothing of significance landed, but Jones was clearly uncomfortable. Reyes landed a nice shovel hook, then some shots to the body as Jones focused on the low kicks. Jones landed a hard jab with 90 seconds remaining in the round, which appeared to really bother Reyes. He followed up with a high kick, then a low kick as Reyes’ pace slowed considerably once again. Reyes scored with an uppercut, then a left hook, which Jones clearly felt.
Jones got the action started in round three with a hard inside kick, while Reyes scored upstairs with a hard kick of his own. Reyes started to work on Jones’ lower legs again, but Jones continued to march forward. Blood began to trickle from Reyes’ nose, but it didn’t stop him from landing another hard uppercut. Midway through the round and Jones angled for a takedown along the fence, but Reyes was able to push him away. Jones stalked him for the remainder of the round, with Reyes finding small openings to the body as he circled away. He landed a hard jab just before Jones tried a flying kick at the buzzer.
Reyes was clearly winded to start the championship rounds — his mouth was wide open, chest heaving. But, that didn’t stop him from landing a hard shot that bothered Jones. To weather the storm he shot in for a takedown, which he secured, but Reyes popped right back up to his feet. Back to the center of the cage, Jones landed a hard low kick that buckled Reyes’ knee. The pace slowed significantly midway through the fourth frame, with Reyes seemingly trying to conserve his energy for the fifth and final round. Jones landed a hard shot in the final 10 seconds, but if nothing else, it was clear that it was close heading into the final five minutes.
In the final round, Jones set the tone with an aggressive takedown. Reyes once again got back to his feet quickly, but it was clear Jones wanted to impose his will down the stretch. He went to work with his legs, while Reyes circled and sparingly dished out some offense. Reyes turned in a brilliant, gutsy performance; however, in the end he just didn’t have the gas tank to compete with “Bones.”
Jones is on yet another tear, well on his way to once again cleaning out the entire 205-pound division. This fight was his toughest in years — and Reyes certainly made a case that he deserves a rematch. Other than that, all that’s seemingly left now is a trilogy fight against Daniel Cormier before he retires or match up against the super effective (and highly underrated) Corey Anderson before he sets his sights on conquering another division.
Indeed, “Bones” proved once again that he is the best in the business. But, if his last few fights are any indication, it’s no longer by a long shot.
Remember that MMAmania.com is delivering LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 247 fight card RIGHT HERE! To check out the latest and greatest UFC 247: “Jones vs. Reyes” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.