UFC

Jones savours 'American history' as Reyes complains over verdict

By Sports Desk February 09, 2020

Jon Jones said victory felt "so sweet" after he controversially landed a unanimous points verdict over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in Houston.

The judges scored the fight 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in favour of Jones, but Reyes was furious and said he had been "all over" the champion over the first three rounds.

UFC president Dana White revealed his children thought Reyes had done enough to get the decision and were plaguing him for answers over why Jones retained his light-heavyweight title.

With his success, Jones becomes the UFC fighter with the most wins in title fights, his tally of 14 one better than Georges St-Pierre's record.

And the 32-year-old American is now undefeated in his last 18 UFC fights, having last lost to Matt Hamill in 2009, when he was disqualified.

However, the crowd inside the Toyota Center saw a tight contest and Jones admitted he had been through a war in the octagon.

"He landed some hard hits. The fans like it when they see me get hit - it doesn't happen very often," Jones said.

"But at the same time, I landed some takedowns. I got his back on more than one occasion. ... A hard-earned victory but a victory."

He added, according to ESPN: "That's the way to make American history right there: hard-fought.

"It wasn't the most impressive victory, but nothing, absolutely nothing that has never been done before is easy. It is never easy. I left it all out there, showed the heart of a champion in the fifth round, and it's so sweet."

Jones, who certainly came on strong in the fourth and fifth rounds, was not in the mood for modesty after confirmation his reign as champion would continue.

"Obviously, my body is hurting, but this victory is so sweet. This fight helps to put me as one of the greatest American athletes of all time," he said.

Reyes, a 30-year-old from California who suffered his first loss, took a swipe at the 49-46 verdict against him, insisting that was a false reflection of the match-up.

He said: "I do feel disrespected. I know I won that fight ... I made Jon Jones look like just a man. I brought the fight to him.

"I had him [in rounds] one through three, man. I was all over him. It is what it is. I'll get better. I proved that I'm the real deal."

White, watching on, hailed Jones as "the GOAT [greatest of all time], and said he admired how he was finding a way against "these young killers".

But White spared a thought for Reyes, too.

"My kids are terrorising me that the fix is in," he said. "[They are asking:] 'How does this happen, Dad? Reyes won the fight!'

"None of us are judges. The judges call the fight, and that's it."

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    "If I can come out from Russia, I'm going to fight 100 per cent. Just give me location. Everyday I send Dana White a message for location. Too much crazy stuff and questions, and no answer.

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    OCTOBER 2015: RIB INJURY RULES OUT KHABIB

    This story dates back almost five years. In August 2015, UFC booked two of its brightest lightweights to get it on at the finale of the 22nd season of 'The Ultimate Fighter' in December. However, two months before the fight, Khabib – who had worked his way back from two serious knee injuries – suffered a broken rib that left him pondering if he would fight again.


    APRIL 2016: FERGUSON SUFFERS LUNG ISSUE

    So, take two then. At the start of the following year, Khabib-Ferguson was made part of the UFC on Fox card set for April 16. Just 11 days before that date, it was Ferguson's turn to be struck by injury woe as a lung issue prevented him from getting in the Octagon.


    MARCH 2017: KHABIB HOSPITALISED BEFORE UFC 209

    Making a third bout between the two was hit by a little snag, namely Ferguson holding out for more money. Eventually, it was made the co-main event of UFC 209 for the interim lightweight title with full champion Conor McGregor on an MMA hiatus to prepare for his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Just a day prior to the showdown, Khabib was hospitalised due to "weight-management issues". A fuming Dana White accused Khabib's team of going "rogue".


    APRIL 2018: SURELY NOT AGAIN?!

    For the fourth time, UFC announced Khabib versus Ferguson for the main event of UFC 223. This time surely the fight was going to happen?! Alas, no. Ferguson required surgery on his lateral collateral ligament and once again MMA fans were starved of the fight.


    APRIL 2020: CORONAVIRUS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS GROUND KHABIB

    This long tale of woe endured its latest chapter of bad luck thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite protestations the fight would go on, even in the likely absence of fans, it was becoming increasingly unlikely. It came as little surprise when Khabib pulled out, stating he was unable to travel. Ferguson may still have an opponent with Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje having all been suggested as stand-ins … but for now the fight we all want to see remains frustratingly on the backburner.

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