Dominick Reyes put on the performance of a lifetime at UFC 247, but it still wasn’t enough in the eyes of the cageside judges.
“The Devastator” dropped a unanimous verdict to reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in Saturday’s headliner at the Toyota Center in Houston, but the final scorecards were quite controversial. Perhaps the most disputed of those was a 49-46 tally in favor of Jones submitted by Joe Soliz.
“I do feel disrespected,” Reyes said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “One of the judges had it 49-46. Who are you? I might want to have a word with you. But other than that man, 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.”
Many observers felt that Reyes deserved to win the bout’s first three frames, but it was Jones’ push in the championship rounds that might’ve left a lasting impression. Still, Reyes provided Jones with a test the likes of which he hadn’t seen since his first bout with Alexander Gustafsson in 2013.
“I am proud of myself,” Reyes said. “I went out there and fought with all of my heart. The goal for me was to go out there and make an ESPN Instant Classic, and I feel like I accomplished that today.”
Reyes had Jones on his heels from the outset, attacking and landing some of the heaviest shots the champion has absorbed in his career.
“Round 1 went exactly how I thought it was gonna go. It was a little bit trippy,” Reyes said. “I don’t have all kinds of big coaches. I don’t train at a big gym. I kind of just work in a basement, in a sense. This for me is huge validation. My very first time going five rounds in my entire career against Jon Jones, who is arguably the greatest of all time. I put it on him. I took it too him. I fell like I’m the people’s champ.”
Among those who scored the fight in Reyes’ fight was UFC president Dana White. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one in the promotion who felt that way.
“Many people from the top down in this organization told me I won that fight,” Reyes said. “I shook up the world even though I didn’t win.”
At this point it time, it feels as though a Jones-Reyes rematch is inevitable. According to the Victorville, Calif, native, Jones even discussed the possibility with him in the Octagon after their memorable fight.
“I’d like to fight him again,” Reyes said. “At the very end of everything he was like, ‘Dude you’re the real deal, I did not expect that from you.’ He said, ‘When we rematch, it’s gonna be epic.’
“I think this solidified my spot in the UFC for a very long time.”