Jon Jones is without a doubt, one of the greatest fighters to have ever graced the sport of MMA. Having had an illustrious 15-year-long career, there wasn’t much that fazed Jones. However, there was a point when Jon genuinely felt as though he could lose a fight.
In February 2020, Jones was at the top of his game in the light heavyweight division. After dispatching all of the top contenders, Jon had already secured his spot as the GOAT of the division. It was at this time that Jon took on an up-and-coming Dominick Reyes at UFC 247. Contrary to what many expected Reyes gave Jon a very tough fight.
Speaking about the fight, Jon Jones revealed more on the OverDogs podcast. “I got in the fight with him and he was giving me a true f**king run for my money,” Jon said. “He was the only other person to do it to me outside of (Alexander) Gustafsson. I remember thinking to myself, ‘F**k. You may have met your match, Jon”. According to Jon, in his head, he had already made peace with potentially losing the fight by a close decision.
However, at this time, Jones remembered a quote by the renowned American track and field athlete, Jesse Owens. “‘I decided I wasn’t going to come down, I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.’ As such, Jones decided that he was not going to give up and went on to win the fight via a controversial decision. Despite the heated rivalry, Jones is still appreciative of Reyes and the performance he put in that day.
Who really won Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes?
For the most part, the fight went very differently from what many may have imagined. On the night, Reyes was the aggressor from the get-go and fought at an incredible pace. Notably, Reyes managed to knock down Jon Jones with a solid body shot, that had the champ worried for a second. Other than a partially connected head kick and a few jabs, Reyes took next to no damage in the opening exchanges.
At one point in Round 2, Reyes had the champ scurrying to reposition and recover. Despite slowing down a bit in Round 3, Dominick still kept the pace up and even managed to stuff a takedown attempt from Jones. Moreover, Reyes kept landing what seemed to be the more impactful shots in these rounds. After an opening blitz in Round 4, Reyes showed great strength and cardio to recover from Jones’ takedowns.
On this day 3 years ago, Jon Jones was pushed to the brink by Dominick Reyes in a very close, five round battle. This was the last time Jon Jones and fought, he of course returns in March at #UFC285. (photos via @mmajunkie)#ufc #mma pic.twitter.com/KACTUN1ts3
— Prestige Combat (@prestigecombat) February 8, 2023
All things considered, the championship rounds were mostly dominated by Jones, but Reyes should still have been far and ahead on the cards. To the surprise of Reyes and many inside the arena, Jones was declared the winner via unanimous decision at the end of the fight. As it turns out, two of the scorecards had it 48-47 in favor of Jones, judge Joe Solis scored it 49-46 in favor of Jones.
Naturally, the decision sparked an outrage in the community with many debating the decision even to this day. As such, even the most loyal Jones fans and UFC President Dana White felt as though Reyes won on the night. Despite the outcome, neither fighter fared too well afterward with Reyes getting finished in his next three fights whilst Jon battled numerous legal issues.