UFC 247: Jones Retains in Close Decision, What's Next?
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Jon “Bones” Jones successfully retained his UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship on Saturday night, after defeating Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision in a close back-and-forth fight that both met and exceeded all expectations.
Although one judge scored the fight 49-46, the fight was not a dominant win by any means. In fact, many people including UFC President Dana White had Reyes winning the fight and up on the scorecards three rounds to one heading into the final round---Reyes winning the first three rounds and Jones winning the fourth round.
White also expressed the need to educate commissions and judges to ensure that decisions aren't "all over the map" as he stated during the post-fight press conference.
If anything was revealed during the main event, it was that Reyes is a championship-caliber fighter and could realistically earn a rematch. From the opening bell, Reyes pushed the pace and landed powerful strikes on the champion, which had fans thinking whether they were about to witness Jones being finished for the first time in his career.
Jones was able to recover and had successful exchanges that saw him land strong kicks to the body and takedowns. In his post-fight press conference, Jones gave his thoughts on possibly fighting Reyes again stating “It’s my job to embrace the toughest challenges, that’s what champion is being about. I fought DC twice…had no problem signing the contract, I fought Alexander Gustafsson twice…no problem signing the contract…and if the people want to see me fight Dominick again, it’s going to be up to Dana White to find a way to make that happen.”
Based on the current state of the UFC’s light-heavyweight division, Jones vs Reyes in an immediate rematch could be the best option. With Thiago Santos still recovering from injuries sustained in his close fight with Jones last July, Jones vs Reyes II could be a massive fight for the UFC’s annual International Fight Week in July or sooner depending on both fighters’ health following Saturday’s main event.
Other names in the division that could earn a title opportunity are Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz, who compete in the main event of next weekend’s UFC Fight Night card in New Mexico. An impressive performance could see one of those two fighters earn the next shot at Jones.
In addition, depending on how next week’s main event plays out, Jones may even choose to move up to heavyweight to challenge himself and do something he hasn’t done before. Should Jones choose to compete at heavyweight in his next bout, maybe the winner of Anderson-Blachowicz will end up fighting Reyes for the next title shot at Jones’ light-heavyweight championship.
Photo Credit: UFC (@UFC)