Jon Jones believes Dominick Reyes’ concern over eye pokes plays into his hands.
Jones and Reyes are scheduled to compete this Saturday night (Feb. 8). Jones’ UFC light heavyweight championship will be on the line. The title bout will headline UFC 247 inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Jones Responds To Reyes’ Concern Over Eye Pokes
Ahead of the matchup, Reyes admitted to MMAFighting.com’s Damon Martin that he’s wary of eye pokes from Jones.
“It’s something where it is what it is. Not much I can do about it except give the referee an advanced “hey man, please look out for this, he’s notorious for this,” Reyes said. “It’s going to be hard for me to get in. I’m not going to run my face directly into fingers. It is what it is. It’s just another challenge that he presents.
“I think more than just the fingers being outstretched is that he stays busy with that lead hand. I think that’s what keeps guys at bay, he paws with it and he paws exactly at his range. That’s been a gigantic weapon of his. It sets up the rest of his arsenal. It helps him find his range.”
MMAFighting later reached out to the light heavyweight champion, who said that eye pokes won’t change the outcome of the fight.
“In my last (Alexander) Gustafsson fight, the referee kept saying, ‘Watch your fingers, Jon!’” Jones said. “My fingers weren’t even out, and he kept yelling at me, which was a major distraction.
“I know Dominick has a problem with the finger stuff, too, and he’s talking about talking to the referee before the fight. None of that stuff’s gonna matter, dude. I feel like the game made a rule that was singlehandedly based around me, and I won’t let that type of stuff matter.”
Jones said that Reyes’ concern over eye pokes is ultimately good for him.
”I haven’t changed anything about my training style,” he said. “I train very hard, and I don’t train to poke people in the eyes. But it’s good when people are thinking on that type of stuff. That’s good for me. If people are thinking, ‘I’m getting poked and (he’s) getting a free point,’ that type of stuff is good for me. I don’t think about that type of stuff.”