Despite Dominick Reyes giving Jon Jones all he could handle, the champion still left UFC 247 with the belt.
Jon Jones made the walk to the octagon for the first time in 2020 at UFC 247 on Saturday night. Nearly a decade after first winning the promotion’s esteemed 205lb title, Jones was facing the man who was next: Dominick Reyes.
Whether Reyes had anything to offer Jones in their main event scrap at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was the question. The feeling ahead of the fight was that Jones had essentially cleaned out the division. First, he’d done away with the legends: Shogun, Belfort, Machida, Rampage, Rashad. Then his own contemporaries, from Teixeira to Gustafsson and of course Cormier. Now, it was a new generation of challengers, the Anthony Smiths and Reyes’s of the world.
Reyes opened the action up with a quick left hand and a good knee to the body. Jones responded with two teep kicks to the knees, and Reyes went upstairs with a head kick. Jones started putting on the pressure and backing Reyes into the fence, then began chopping his legs down. Reyes stepped in with a big left hand that sat Jon Jones down and began throwing a flurry that may have hurt Jones! Jones recovered, however, and began backing Reyes up. Jones threw a left high kick that landed, and soon a chaotic round one would come to an end. A strong start for Reyes.
Jones started round two with some body work, and Reyes responded with a massive flurry that had Jones on the retreat. Not a whole lot landed, but he had made a mark. Jones recovered and went back on the attack, and began attacking the legs. Jones landed a sneaky left hook that caught Reyes’ attention. Reyes drastically slowed down following his flurry to start the round, and Jones began finding his rhythm. However, Reyes still landed a few left hooks, including a few to end the round. Reyes was actually out-landing Jones in the first two rounds on significant strikes.
Reyes opened up round three with another flurry and even punched at Jones outstretched hand. Jones withstood the flurry and began looking for openings. Reyes landed a slick uppercut moving backwards and Jones looked for a takedown, but couldn’t get it. They separated from the clinch following a big elbow by Reyes, and Jones responded with a nice jab. Reyes kept going to the body with the straight left, but Jones kept eating them. Jones ended the third round by throwing a flying knee and looking for a takedown but he ran out of time.
Going to the championship rounds, it was close. In the fourth, Reyes landed a big right hand and left that hurt Jones, and he began looking for the takedown desperately! Jones got him down but Reyes rose up and got him off, and went back to striking at distance. Jones began searching for another takedown, but once again Reyes shrugged him off. Reyes threw a leg kick that Jones caught and Jones backed him up to the fence. Jones stung Reyes and began putting on pressure but Reyes landed a left that had Jones briefly back up. Jones threw a headkick that was slightly blocked and Ryes threw a left straight to the body. Reyes threw a nice uppercut but Jones ended the round with a heavy left hook to go to the fifth and final round.
The challenger pushing the pace in R4!
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
Prior to round five, Greg Jackson told Jon Jones in his corner that he may need a finish, and he fought like it. Jones went out and shot for the takedown quickly and Reyes once again stuffed it. Jones landed a heavy left kick to the body following a left by Reyes. Jones threw a spinning back and kept a relentless pace. Jones threw a headkick but Reyes ducked it and landed a left hand. Jones went back to targeting the legs and throwing some kicks upstairs. Reyes stayed on his bike and we would go to the scorecards.
A close fight, with two scores of 48-47. A third, at 49-46, was reflective of the atrocious judging that plagued the entire UFC 247 card. Texas has some work to do in that department. Post-fight, Jones was adamant he had won, while Reyes likewise was certain he’d done enough to get the nod.
Official Result: Jon Jones def. Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020