UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones doesn’t believe Dominick Reyes is the person who will end his impressive title run, but the champ said if the unthinkable did happen, it wouldn’t be because Jones would have tried to box with the excellent boxer, Reyes.
“I’m not going to give him what he wants,” Jones said. It’s going to be a mixed martial arts fight.”
Speaking to fans and media at the UFC Athlete Panel in Houston ahead of his upcoming showdown against Reyes, Jones said he would stick to doing what he does best, which was a mixture of all styles.
In short, Jones said he was an MMA fighter, not a boxer.
Jones faces Reyes in the main event of UFC 247 Saturday night in Houston at the Toyota Center. Jones is ranked No. 1 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list. Reyes is the fourth-ranked contender in the 205-pound division. That makes him the highest-rated light heavyweight Jones has not yet defeated.
UFC 247 takes place on February 8 at 10 p.m. ET. The event will be distributed exclusively by ESPN+ pay-per-view, and Jones expects the many lessons he’s learned over the years to carry him to victory in the fight.
“Experience is going to play a big factor,” Jones said. “You guys will see.”
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Jones Dominant Across Last Decade
Jones, 32, from Rochester, N.Y., has been the most dominant force of the last decade in MMA. He’s one of the biggest stars in the UFC, and he’s won 13 straight UFC title fights. That’s just one of the amazing UFC records the fighter holds. Another is most wins in the UFC’s 205-pound division at 19. Jones hopes to make it 20 against Reyes.
Additionally, Jones has defeated a slew of excellent fighters of the years. The only loss on his ledger came in 2009 when Jones was disqualified in a fight he was dominating for using illegal 12-6 elbow strikes against Matt Hamill.
But Jones has lost nary a round since, and most MMA experts consider the fighter to be virtually unbeatable. That same thing applies to the long list of UFC fighters Jones has already defeated inside the Octagon. In fact, if the UFC is a kingdom based only on winning and dominance, Jones is the UFC’s one and only king for the plain fact that nobody knows how to beat him.
Undefeated Reyes Might Pose Problems
Still, Reyes is undefeated through 12 MMA fights. The 30-year-old from Hesperia, Calf., and is one of the few 205-pound fighters who won’t be looking up at the 6-feet-4 Jones on fight night. Reyes is the same exact height, though he doesn’t possess the same insanely long 84-inch reach as Jones.
But Reyes has serious power in his hands and feet. He’s a solid boxer with heavy kicks, and his overall high-level of athleticism are attributes that could give him a real chance to do something no other fighter has been able to do: make Jones look human.
Plus, the timing seems right for the challenger. Reyes is coming off the single biggest win of his career. In October 2019, he defeated former middleweight champion Chris Weidman via first-round knockout to earn the next crack at Jones.
A win would send the American’s career into the stratosphere. Jones has dismissed the challenger’s chances, but stranger things have happened in the world of combat sports over the years. Still, if Reyes pulls off the shocker, Jones promises it won’t be over boxing.