This turned out to be a much closer fight than most people expected. Jon Jones is the most accomplished UFC champion out there. Definitely the greatest light-heavyweight of all-time, not many people thought that Dominick Reyes would beat him. In the end, most people said that ‘The Devastator’ did.
The pair fought in the main event of UFC 247 in Houston, Texas. It was a night marked by split decisions and dubious judging. Many wondered if Reyes would be able to land that powerful left hand and how would he cope with Jones’s expert distant control.
However, in the end, it was the judging that we were all talking about. While you could argue that Jones had done enough to scrape a tight decision, it definitely wasn’t a 49-46 like one of the judges gave him. Check out the full highlights of this great fight below.
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
In the first two rounds, Reyes came out like a steam train. The former footballer even managed to drop Jones with a powerful left hand and his power clearly rattled the champion. His movement was also excellent. ‘Bones’ is notorious for his teep kicks but he wasn’t able to get them going at all. Reyes forced Jones to fight at his pace.
Reyes also managed to avoid the clinch where Jones does some of his best work. The third round was closer as Jones looked for the takedown. About halfway through the round, Reyes was forced to back up more. This is arguably what cost him in the judges’ eyes when it came down to it.
The challenger pushing the pace in R4!
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
The champion’s experience showed in the later rounds. He was able to take advantage of Reyes’s exhaustion to assert himself in the fourth and fifth stanzas. He got a couple of takedowns but Reyes’s defense and ability to defend were superb. However, Jones definitely improved the striking differentials. Reyes was gasping for air by the end of the fight.
In the end, it was left to the judges and this is where it gets controversial. The judges awarded it to Jones by unanimous decision. Two of them scored it 48-47, which is acceptable. Even if you think – as we did – that Reyes did enough to win the first three, it’s not outrageous. However, the third judge, Joe Soliz, scored it 49-46. This is actually offensive to the brilliant performance Reyes put on.
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) February 9, 2020
The same judge made bizarre calls in two earlier fights on the card. UFC commentator Joe Rogan put him on blast live on air. He condemned the decision and explained why it made him so furious. The veteran podcaster called Soliz insane and said:
“I can’t argue about this enough. I can’t get angry enough. I’ve done it so many times. For anyone to think that was 4-1 Jon Jones, that person’s insane. They’re insane. Dominick Reyes put on a hell of a fight tonight. And to disrespect that performance by that kind of judging is insane.”
In the end, Reyes was classy in defeat. He said that he did think he won the first three rounds, but ‘it is what it is.’