Rising Star: Jon Jones ‘Knows How To Win Judges Over’

Jon Jones Thiago Santos
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones defended his UFC 205-pound championship over Thiago Santos in his last fight. It was far from the dominant performance we’ve come to expect from “Bones,” however.

Jones beat Santos by split decision in the main event of July’s UFC 239. Many questioned the bout’s outcome, suggesting Santos should have earned the nod. The close result was made even more spectacular by the fact that Santos tore every ligament in his left knee and fought on one leg. Indeed, doctors found it unreal that Santos even fought that night. The result made many wonder if Jones was indeed slowing down in his skillset.

Jones ‘Won The Judges Over’

Rising UFC light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes was among those who thought Santos won the fight. He recently spoke up via MMA Mania to offer his take on the bout, noting that he was in attendance. While he believes Santos won, he acknowledged Jones is skilled in swaying the judges’ favor. That’s ultimately alright with him, as he said his destiny is to become the one to finally dethrone Jones:

“I actually had him losing by a round. I was there, I was sitting cageside. A completely objective, unbiased judging with my own eyes, I saw Thiago winning the hand exchanges and kinda pushing him back. Jon is a great champion, he knows how to win, he knows how to win the judges over. Much respect to him. Now I can fulfill my destiny, which is taking out Jon.”

Reyes Rising

Reyes is undefeated at 11-0 in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. He has won five straight bouts in the Octagon. His most recent win, a split decision over Volkan Oezdemir at March’s UFC London, was called into question by some – just like Jones’ win over Santos. He’s currently ranked No. 4 and is heading into his first UFC main event when he faces former middleweight champion Chris Weidman at October’s UFC Boston.

A win could put him dangerously close to a title shot, where he’d have the opportunity to prove Jones has lost a step. The fight could truly become a reality after Jones’ rumored trilogy with Daniel Cormier lost heat last weekend.

Do you agree with Reyes that Jon Jones only won his last fight because he knows how to sway the judges?