Reyes: Potential Rematch With Jones Discussed Before Coronavirus Pandemic
If everything went according to plan, we may have seen a rematch of the one of the top bouts in Jon Jones’ career.
Light heavyweight challenger Dominick Reyes, who lost to UFC Lightweight Champion Jones (26-1, 1NC) at UFC 247 back in February, told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that a rematch was the two were scheduled to fight again. Things turned sour once the coronavirus pandemic started altering plans.
“Yes, we were talking early fall,” Reyes stated. “We started moving along, moving along, and then [COVID-19]. And that was it.”
The bout was highly-regarded for its back and forth reaction. it was also deemed controversial due to the nature of the result. Reyes won the first few rounds, but Jones came back in the latter rounds. Jones ended up winning the bout via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46). A call for a rematch was in place by many, including Reyes (12-1). Prior to the loss, Reyes won six straight fights with the UFC.
“What I did in our fight, what happened, it was a big event,” Reyes went on to say. “A lot of people talked about it for a long time. They’re still talking about it. I think not just myself, but the people kind of feel cheated with that fight. They want to see it again, see me perform like I did once again. A lot of people think that belt is mine. I agree. So let’s get it.”
Besides the coronavirus, there are a number of factors that would make this fight hard to make now. Jones was recently arrested and pled guilty to a DWI. Officers heard a gunshot and found Jones, who was also charged with negligent use of a weapon and possession of an open container. Jones was seen driving with a gun and a half-drunken bottle of Recuerdo on the passenger side. He also had traces of marijuana around him, but those charges were reportedly dropped due to the DWI sentence.
Jones took a plea deal that required him to serve 96 hours of hour arrest and 90 days in an outpatient treatment program. Before facing Reyes, Jones beat Thiago Santos in another controversial outcome. Santos, who tore his left ACL, LCL, PCL, MCL, meniscus and Tibia in the first round of their bout, called for Jones to be stripped and for him and Reyes to fight for the title. Reyes hopes that isn’t the case, as he wants to prove himself against Jones.
“Personally, I hope he doesn’t get suspended, because I really need to rematch him for myself,” Reyes said. “I’ve always respected Jon as a fighter. I’ve always respected him in the Octagon, but outside the Octagon, it’s the same crap he’s been doing before that disappointed me when I was a fan of him.
“I was a fan of him, he did that and it disappointed me and made me not a fan, when he hit that pregnant lady. Now he’s doing the same thing.”
It is unknown if the UFC will do anything to punish or help Jones