HOUSTON — Dominick Reyes thought he did enough to dethrone Jon Jones. Unfortunately for him, the judges thought otherwise.
Reyes (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) took on the UFC light heavyweight champion in the UFC 247 main event Saturday at Toyota Center. "The Devastator" suffered his first professional defeat, coming up short in a 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 unanimous decision to Jones.
The result was received with plenty of criticism as many people, including UFC president Dana White, thought Reyes had done enough to claim the belt. Reyes, for his part, believes he was wronged.
"I'm disappointed first of all," Reyes told reporters in the post-fight news conference. "I am proud of myself, though. I went out there with all my heart, and the goal for me was to make it an ESPN instant classic, and I feel like I accomplished that today. I do feel disrespected. One of the judges had it 49-46. Like, who are you? I might want to have a word with you.
"But other than that, I know I won that fight. I know I won that fight. I was in that fight. I don't have to watch the replay. I was there. I made Jon Jones look like just a man. I brought the fight to him."
Dominick Reyes reacts after his fight against Jon Jones during UFC 247. (Photo: Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports)
Reyes thought he had at least three of the five rounds in the bag, and even thought he could've been up by four rounds.
"Yeah, 3-2 or 4-1, it could've been either of those," Reyes said. "I truly believe that, I'm not just saying that. I mean, look at the numbers, look how the fight played out. Those takedowns, how can you even score those as a takedown? He burned more energy trying to take me down. I just popped right up like nothing, and I elbowed him off the break.
"You're going to do me like that? But it is what it is. All I know is that I am the truth, and people saw that tonight. Many people from the top down in this organization told me I owned that fight tonight."
By unanimous decision, Jon “Bones” Jones is still the champ ?#UFC247 | @espnmmapic.twitter.com/UwJxCfDUBO
The disappointment is heavy for Reyes, but the experience fighting Jones wasn't all negative. Reyes takes pride in having given the champion a run for his money.
"Round 1 went exactly how I thought it was going to go, and I'm not going to lie: It was a little bit trippy," Reyes said. "I was like, 'Whoa, this is going exactly how I thought it would go. Heck yeah.' It's just one of those things, I don't have big coaches, I don't train at a big gym, I just work in the dark in a basement in a sense.
"This is huge validation. It was the first time I went five rounds in my career against Jon Jones, who's arguably the best of all time, and I put it on him. I took it to him. I feel like I'm the people's champ."
Reyes would love to get a second shot at Jones.
"I definitely want a rematch; I won," Jones said. "And it wasn't controversial like he blew me out of the water and I was cowering in a corner sitting on my butt like, 'Don't hurt me.' No, I was bringing it to him. I'm going to go home, maybe go on vacation, sit on a beach somewhere, and then maybe sit and talk with Dana and figure out my future."
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