Jones Dismisses Theory Of Planned Eye Pokes
It has been known that Jon Jones is one of the most complete fighters of the past few years. Each fight he finds a way to break down his opponents, whether by TKO, submission or decision. Aspects of his fighting have come into question, however, by fighters and various members of the MMA community.
Eye pokes have become a common occurrence for Jones (25-1, 1NC) during his fights. Point deductions are warranted for unnecessary pokes, but Jones has never really gotten a single point deducted during his run in the UFC. Jones doesn’t see it as intentional, just something that happens to come up.
“I fight how I fight,” Jones stated during a conference call to MMA Fighting. “I grab for hands a lot, and over the years, I’ve coincidentally landed a few eye pokes. But if you guys think I trained poking people in the eyes, think about how ridiculous that is. We fight with our fingers open, and I can be a very reachy fighter sometimes, and it happens.”
The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion’s opponent at UFC 247, Dominick Reyes, has called out Jones’ use of the eye poke. Reyes (12-0) plans on warning the referee ahead of time before and during the fight.
“It’s something where it is what it is. Not much I can do about it except give the referee an advanced “hey man, please look out for this, he’s notorious for this,” Reyes stated. “It’s going to be hard for me to get in. I’m not going to run my face directly into fingers. It is what it is. It’s just another challenge that he presents.”
Reyes has made it a point to cut the cheating within the sport. Jones truly believes he is being tagged as a victim here, as fighters, referees and everyone around him are pointing out an issue that is hard to control. Even when he isn’t appearing to do anything he gets chastised.
“In my last (Alexander) Gustafsson fight, the referee kept saying, ‘Watch your fingers, Jon!’” Jones went on to say. “My fingers weren’t even out, and he kept yelling at me, which was a major distraction.”
Even with the doubts surrounding him, Jones has managed to amass a record that cannot be duplicated. What Reyes is planning on doing is not even on the mind of Jones, who finds it as a distraction for his opponent more for him.
“I know Dominick has a problem with the finger stuff, too, and he’s talking about talking to the referee before the fight,” said Jones. “None of that stuff’s gonna matter, dude. I feel like the game made a rule that was singlehandedly based around me, and I won’t let that type of stuff matter.”
UFC 247 takes place inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on February 8. The co-main event will feature Valentina Shevchenko defending the UFC Flyweight Title against Katlyn Chookagian.