UFC 247 was a night full of judging controversy, and maybe if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be looking at the results of the main event with such disdain.
After five rounds of fighting between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Dominick Reyes, judges scored the fight for Jones (watch the highlights here). That set off a lot of fans that had Reyes the clear winner of rounds one through three. You can count Reyes amongst that camp that felt he got the screw there, giving the performance of his life only to have it go unrecognized on the scorecards.
”Man,” Reyes kept repeating during the post-fight press conference. “Man!”
”I do feel disrespected,” he continued. “One of the judges had it 49-46. Like, who are you? I might want to have a word with you. But other than that, I know I won that fight. I was in that fight. I don’t have to watch the replay. I was there. I made Jon Jones look like just a man. I brought the fight to him. And man. Man!”
At least there was a silver lining.
”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.”
As for how he thought the scoring should have been?
”3-2 or 4-1,” he said, and we assume he means for him and not for Jones which is how it was scored. “I truly believe that, I’m not just saying that. Look at the numbers. Look at how the fight played out. Those takedowns, how can you even score those as a takedown. He burned more energy trying to take me down. And I just popped back up like it was nothing. And then I elbowed him off the break. So it’s just like ... you’re going to do me like that?”
“But it is what it is. All I know is ... I am the truth, and people saw that tonight. Many people from the top down in this organization told me I won. And I’m so proud. Proud to represent my friends, my family, my culture. Everybody that’s believed in me, I shook up the world even though I didn’t win in the judge’s eyes.”
After what many fans are considering a bad decision, an immediate rematch (perhaps outside of Texas) was a hot topic of conversation. Reyes, unsurprisingly, is interested in that.
“I definitely would like a rematch,” he said. “I mean, I won. And it was very controversial. It wasn’t like he blew me out of the water and I was cowering in the corner, sitting on my butt, ‘Don’t hurt me.’ No, I was bringing it to him. But I’m going to go home, rest up, go on vacation. Sit down and talk with Dana and figure out my future. No matter what, I showed who I am, and very many people can respect that.”
With Dana White agreeing with a 3-2 Reyes score in the fight, he just may get that rematch. And back in Las Vegas, where Jon Jones may not get enough of a champ bump to hold onto his belt.