Sports

Jon Jones Beat Dominick Reyes In A Five-Round War At UFC 247 To Retain His Light Heavyweight Title

Jon Jones (26-1) survived an onslaught from Dominick Reyes (12-1) to retain the light heavyweight title in the main event at UFC 247 from the Toyota Center in Houston.

Reyes attacked out of the gate, landing a stiff left overhand to Jones. Jones went to work with leg kicks, hoping to slow the challenger’s forward movement. Reyes continued forward and dropped Jones with a left, pouring it on and sending the champ retreating with his back to the Octagon cage. Reyes appeared to hurt Jones with about a minute and a half remaining in the first, landing a head kick followed by a slew of strikes, but Jones recovered well and stood in against Reyes to close the round.

Jones opened the second with a snapping body kick. Unwilling to stand and take shots, Reyes chased Jones around the Octagon, trying to find an opening for a strike to finish his night. The champ turned it around and was much more front footed throughout the second, following the challenger around the Octagon and forcing him to strike while moving backwards.

Jones kept the pressure in the third, refusing to let Reyes settle into a groove. Jones shot for a takedown with about two minutes remaining in the round, but Reyes fought it off. Reyes opened the third with the same aggression from the first, attacking at will on Jones. Jones found an opening for a takedown, but Reyes climbed to his feet and held the champ off against the Octagon.

Jones began finding his openings late in the fourth as a clearly exhausted Reyes did his best to avoid precise strikes from the champ. In the fifth, Jones opened the final round with another takedown, but Reyes easily made his way back to his feet. The opponents traded hands as they danced around the Octagon, with Jones continuing to pour on the pressure.

Jones entered Saturday night’s fight without a loss in more than a decade, with his only defeat coming via disqualification against Matt Hamill in 2009. After dominating the light heavyweight division over his career, the 32-year-old Jones has hinted at a move up to heavyweight, where he could face off in an intriguing bout with Stipe Miocic.

An unbeaten southpaw, Reyes earned a title shot at 205 pounds after knocking out Chris Weidman in the first round of their fight in October 2019. He also previously earned statement victories over former contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Ovince St. Preux en route to Saturday’s main event.

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