UFC light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes doesn’t quite believe all the mean things Jon Jones has been saying about him over recent months is really how Jones feels about him. Instead, Reyes agreed with Heavy when it was suggested to the fighter that all the trash talk Jones has thrown his way was maybe just how the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world got himself ready to compete.
“I think he has to do that in order to get ready for a fight he has to dislike you…”, Reyes said. “He needs the motivation to get up and go hard because he’s had his belts. His motivations are different than mine.”
Reyes said one of the ways Jones might get up for new challenges after over a decade of dominating the competition is by making things personal. Reyes said it was an interesting approach, and that maybe that’s why Reyes was able to secure the next crack at Jones for the title. In fact, Reyes said the whole reason he started making public comments about Jones’ past issues with suspensions and other challenges in the first place was so he could get the fight.
“I gotta get the fight,” Reyes said. “That was (why I did that) pretty much, yeah. And it worked.”
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Reyes Dreams of Finishing Jones for Title WIn
Reyes said one of the visions he keeps having as he heads into UFC 247 was one of Reyes standing over Jones and finishing the champion by knockout.
“That’s the vision I keep having to be honest,” Reyes said. “I keep having those dreams as well, where he’s on his back and I’m over him. I keep having that, but I’m not going to bank on that, you know. I’m prepared for five rounds.”
Reyes said he believes he’ll score the knockout against Jones but isn’t putting all his eggs in one basket. Instead, the 30-year-old said he’s prepared for five full rounds of tough action on Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
“If I have to win by decision, I’ll do that. But yeah I feel like I can knock him out,” Reyes said.
Jones Smart in Not Making UFC 247 a Boxing Match
Reyes also said Jones was wise in not trying to box with him this weekend. During Wednesday’s UFC Athlete Panel where fighters answer questions from fans on social media, Jones said he knew to make the fight a boxing match would be the wrong move. Reyes wholeheartedly agreed with that assessment.
“Because he’s not dumb,” Reyes said.
Still, Reyes said that level of honesty was probably something that helped Jones remain at the top of the sport for so long. Jones knows what he’s great at inside the Octagon, and he knows what his limitations are.
“I think he’s just being honest,” Reyes said. “He knows he’s great at a lot of things. Boxing is not what he’s great at. He knows that.”
Moreover, Reyes said his hard punches from close range were one of the very best parts of his game.
“And he knows I’m most dangerous in the pocket,” Reyes said.
Reyes: ‘I don’t hate Jon Jones’
Finally, Reyes admitted whatever Jones feels about him, whether the hatred is real or not, the No. 4 rated UFC light heavyweight contender doesn’t hate Jones regardless. Still, Reyes plans on going into UFC 247 to end Jones’ reign as champion.
“I don’t hate Jon,” Reyes said. “I don’t, but I’m gonna beat him.”
And even if Jones does have to create reasons to hate his opponents to get himself ready for his fights, Reyes simply isn’t the same kind of person.
“I don’t have to create hatred toward someone,” Reyes said.