Jon Jones did it again.
The UFC light heavyweight champion successfully defended his title against challenger Dominick Reyes on Saturday at UFC 247, earning an unanimous decision nod by scores of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.
The game plan for Reyes (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) was evident from the opening bell. Footwork and pace were key early. Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) was unable to slow down the challenger’s attack. Reyes landed big shots on Jones throughout the first and second rounds.
Round 3 was the closest of the five, with each fighter having his moment.
In the fourth, Reyes tagged Jones with a sequence of hard shots. In response, Jones attempted to wrestle. While he was able to get Reyes down, the challenger’s secondary takedown defense was evident. Reyes got up quickly and separated back to the middle.
Midway through the fourth, Reyes noticeably slowed and the momentum swung in Jones’ favor. In the fifth round, the cardio difference was even more evident. Jones utilized footwork and movement to stalk Reyes down.
When the final bell rang, opinions were scattered on who won. And while he was close, Reyes didn’t do enough in the eyes of the only three people who mattered: the judges. When the official decision was read, the Houston crowd was not happy.
In the cage after the fight, Jones said he was unsure of what’s next for him as talk of a heavyweight move has swirled. He said he’d have to discuss options with his team.
The win is the latest addition of an amazing career resume for Jones. The champion holds a plethora of light heavyweight records, which continue to rapidly expand. He holds the most victories in UFC light heavyweight history, most wins in UFC title fight history, most consecutive UFC light heavyweight wins – the list goes on and on.
As for Reyes, the defeat at UFC 247 was the first loss of his professional career, snapping a 12-fight winning streak. The 30-year-old fighter debuted in the UFC in June 2017, quickly climbing the UFC light heavyweight ranks en route to the showdown with Jones.
The light heavyweight title bout was the UFC 247 main event at Toyota Center in Houston. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.