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Jon Jones recalls nearly ‘giving up’ against Dominick Reyes: ‘F—k - you may have met your match, Jon’

UFC 247: Jones v Reyes Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones’ last fight at Light Heavyweight was a wild one, to say the least.

Before Jones’ highly-anticipated return as a Heavyweight at UFC 285 earlier this year, “Bones” took a three-year hiatus fresh on the heels of a 205-pound title defense opposite Dominick Reyes. Despite the controversial nature surrounding the result, the multiple-time Light Heavyweight kingpin, Jones, took home a unanimous decision victory.

During the fight, however, the now-Heavyweight titleholder recently revealed that there was a moment where he nearly phoned it in.

“Jesse Owens, that was the quote,” Jones said on the OverDogs Podcast. “‘I decided I wasn’t going to come down, I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.’

“I’ll give you an example of when that quote came to me in the middle of a fight,” he continued. “I was fighting Dominick Reyes and it was in round one. He hit me with like a spinning back kick to the face and then he punched me in the stomach and I hit the floor and it was technically a knockdown. Even the look that he had in his eyes and the way that he talked to me before the fight, telling me he was a multisport athlete and he wasn’t afraid of me and that he believed it was his destiny to beat me and all this types of stuff.

“I got in the fight with him and he was giving me a true f—king run for my money,” Jones added. “He was the only other person to do it to me outside of [Alexander] Gustafsson. I remember thinking to myself, ‘F—k. You may have met your match, Jon.’ That’s what like a voice said to me right in the middle of the cage. It was like, ‘You may have met your match.’ As clear as day, I saw a door in the Octagon and it was just like, ‘Hey. You’ve had a great career. You’ve done a lot of great things. This kid, he wants it, he’s hungry for it, Jon. It’s okay if you come up short in this one. Just don’t let him knock you out but you can just kind of skate through this one and let the kid have it, Jon.’”

While Jones mentions the Reyes and Gustafsson wars as his toughest, they were both scored unanimously by the judges on each night. His lone split decision victory came over Thiago Santos in his fight before Reyes.

Jones’ first title defense at Heavyweight takes place against former two-time champion, Stipe Miocic, in UFC 295’s main event on Nov. 11, 2023. With high expectations in his big dream fight, Jones hopes he doesn’t have the same internal conflicts as in his Reyes bout, which he ultimately managed to mentally pull through.

“Then I thought about that flying and never coming down — it’s a decision to give up on yourself,” Jones said. “And something just said just as clear as that other voice, ‘F—k that’ (laughs). Not you, not today, not me.”

For more on UFC 295 and the promotion’s upcoming event schedule click here.

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