Sunday, June 26, 2022

Dominick Reyes Cites What He Thinks Prevented Jon Jones Rematch

Dominick Reyes is done dwelling on the scorecards from his fight with Jon Jones, but he still can’t help feeling like a potential rematch slipped away.

The former UFC title challenger hasn’t fought since May 2021, but he spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and is hopeful of a return to action later this year.

After discussing the recent light heavyweight title fight between Glover Teixieria and Jiří Procházka, Helwani couldn’t help but bring up Reyes’ fight with Jones that was contested shortly before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That whole pandemic, man,” Reyes answered when asked how it affected his career. “That thing fucking – ‘scuse my language, I’m sorry man – that whole pandemic really, really put a wrench in my whole momentum man. Bad, really bad. Like I was doing meet-and-greets, and going to the fights, and enjoying it and all of a sudden, it’s all over. Boom, nothing. Man, how does that suck?”

“The Devastator” joined the UFC in 2017 and extended his undefeated record to 11-0 before earning a shot at Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title at UFC 247. Jones retained the title via unanimous decision, though many felt that Reyes had done enough to win the fight.

When Helwani asked if there had been discussions about a rematch, the 32-year-old explained that all parties had initially seemed on board for a second fight.

Many felt that Dominick Reyes should have left UFC 247 as light heavyweight champion. (Esther Lin, MMA Fighting)

“Oh yeah, that was the whole thing. The whole thing was, ‘We’re gonna run it back.’ Then it was like the pandemic started, then I don’t know what [Jones] started doing at home, he started feeling a different kind of way. Then all of a sudden it was, ‘Nah I’m going to heavyweight, screw that. There’s too much risk, I don’t get paid enough to fight him. I’m not gonna fight him again without double, you gotta pay me double to fight that guy again.’

“And it was like, what? I was getting contender money bro, screw you. I should be getting pay-per-view’s next fight. And it was weird how it all happened because [Jones] was down, everything was good. Dana was like, ‘All right, we’re gonna do it.’ And then all of a sudden, nope. Nah, I’m gonna go to heavyweight.”

After the rematch with Jones fell through, Reyes met Jan Blachowicz in a fight for the interim light heavyweight belt at UFC 253. Reyes was knocked out in the second round, and in his next fight he was stopped by recently crowned light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka.

What do you think of Reyes’ comments that the pandemic contributed to a rematch with Jones falling through?

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