Dominick Reyes was apparently moving toward securing a light heavyweight championship rematch with Jon Jones before before the coronavirus pandemic forced the UFC to focus on more immediate matters.
In a recent interview with ESPN, “The Devastator” revealed that he was in preliminary discussions with the Las Vegas-based promotion for a return date with Jones this fall. Reyes lost a narrow five-round verdict to the reigning 205-pound king at UFC 247 in February in a bout that many observers scored for the challenger.
"Yes, we were talking early fall," Reyes said. "We started moving along, moving along, and then [COVID-19]. And that was it.”
The promotion is currently focused on finding a location for UFC 249, which is scheduled to take place on April 18. UFC events on March 21, March 28 and April 11 were postponed due to ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus, but Dana White has insisted that all the canceled bouts will be rescheduled.
One week after Reyes came up short against Jones in Houston, Jan Blachowicz scored an empathic first-round stoppage of Corey Anderson in a battle of top contenders at UFC Fight Night 167 on Feb. 15. Despite that effort, Reyes believes there is more demand for his rematch with the champion.
"What I did in our fight, what happened, it was a big event," Reyes said. "A lot of people talked about it for a long time. They're still talking about it. I think not just myself, but the people kind of feel cheated with that fight. They want to see it again, see me perform like I did once again. A lot of people think that belt is mine. I agree. So let's get it.”
Meanwhile, Jones recently ran afoul of the law again, as he pleaded guilty to an aggravated DWI charge last month in Albuquerque, N.M. The Jackson-Wink MMA product must serve 96 hours house arrest and received one year of probation. The UFC has not made any comment regarding disciplinary action toward Jones.
"Personally, I hope he doesn't get suspended, because I really need to rematch him for myself," Reyes said. "I've always respected Jon as a fighter. I've always respected him in the Octagon, but outside the Octagon, it's the same crap he's been doing before that disappointed me when I was a fan of him.
"I was a fan of him, he did that and it disappointed me and made me not a fan, when he hit that pregnant lady. Now he's doing the same thing.”