Jon Jones retained his UFC light heavyweight title as he claimed a controversial unanimous decision victory against Dominick Reyes in Houston.
After a back-and-forth battle in which Reyes dominated the early exchanges befofe Jones exerted late control, it was Jones who was awarded the decision 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 on the scorecards.
The defeat was the first for Reyes in his 13th professional MMA outing, while ‘Bones’ picked up the 26th win of his gilded career.
STILL THE CHAMP.
— UFC (@ufc) February 9, 2020
The result will not sit well with many after what turned into an epic battle between an up-and-coming pretender to the throne and long-time great.
Reyes stated his intent early, dropping Jones with a hard left in round one as the challenger came out fast and fearless.
Reyes continued to unload kicks as Jones remained on the defensive, but did connect with a right hand as the round drew to a close – although it wasn’t enough to prevent Reyes from taking the opening stanza.
Reyes continued to push the pace in the second, throwing more shots despite Jones beginning to find a home for his own jab and low leg kicks.
Round three was closer to call as Jones stemmed the threat slightly, but knew he had a massive task ahead of him in the championship rounds to keep hold of the title.
That task got more difficult as Reyes caught him early in round 4, although Jones increasingly looking to his wrestling game to turn the tide as Reyes tired.
Reyes slowed but continued to show superb defense, despite Jones controlling the latter exchanges.
That was enough for Jones to get the decision on the cards, although many will feel Reyes had done enough to relinquish him of the title.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) February 9, 2020