MMA Ratings Podcast

February 11, 2020

UFC 247: Dominick Reyes Must Capitalize On His Rising Stock

By Raphael Garcia

It’s difficult to ever look at a sports loss with “rose tinted glasses.” But Dominick Reyes has quite a few positives to take from his decision loss to Jon Jones in the UFC 247 main event. There’s a growing contingent of voices calling for the former college football standout to be granted an immediate rematch with the champion, or be slated into an interim title fight if Jones decides to move up to heavyweight. Reyes didn’t get his hand raised on Saturday night, but many felt like he did enough to become the first man to earn a win over Jones. So no matter what his next move is, Reyes has seen his stock rise quickly in the eyes of mixed martial arts fans.

From the opening bell of their fight, Reyes put the pressure on Jones, but he was unable to maintain that pace long enough to win enough rounds on the judges’ scorecards to take the belt. Chris Lee, Marcos Rosales, and Joe Soliz had the fight for Jones 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46, respectively. Compare this to how the media members listed on saw the bout, where seven had the fight for Jones while fourteen of them picked Reyes. But no matter how good of an argument anyone can make in his favor, the history books will still show that Reyes took the L at UFC 247. But Reyes is in a much better place than the average defeated fighter.

It's been speculated that Jones could move up to heavyweight to take potential money fights against the likes of Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, and others; if that happens, it leaves a void at light heavyweight that Reyes could step right into. An interim light heavyweight championship fight that feaatures Reyes facing off against Thiago Santos is the exact type of fight needed for this division. Santos also fought Jones close when they squared off, taking a scorecard on the champion at UFC 239. Booking Santos and Reyes against each other creates a matchup between two fighters who in the eyes of many warrant rematches with Jones; the winner of that bout could call out the champion, generating heat for that rematch if it happens, and credibility for his interim title if it does not.

If Santos is still too far off based on the recovery timetable for the knee injuries he suffered last July, then the winner of Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira who are fighting in April, or Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz, who fight this weekend at UFC Rio Rancho, make for strong second choices. Either way, Reyes is poised to remain the top contender at light heavyweight, as the division remains devoid of men who could take Jones’s place if he were to leave the division.

Even in defeat, Dominick Reyes gained a contingent of fans based on his confidence, especially after calling himself “the people’s champion” in the aftermath of his controversial loss. He can leverage this moment like a Chael Sonnen (without the cognitive dissonance and borderline racism), and become a bigger star. Reyes feels like he did enough to get the belt, and many across the sport agree with him. Now, his next step is to continue winning and calling out Jon Jones for another shot at the title many feel is rightfully his. He needs to stay vocal and stay victorious. Reyes’ stock is on the rise and his actions in the coming weeks and months will determine if he remains in the conversation as we get clarity on Jones’ next move. Because whatever step Jones decides to take, he'll be looking over his shoulder, as Reyes leads the charge of fighters in the 205-pound division nipping at his heels.

UFC 247
Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship): Jon Jones def. Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46).

UFC 247: Jones vs. Reyes took place February 8, 2020 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Click HERE for more UFC 247 Post-Fight Analysis

No comments:

Post a Comment

*** Anonymous comments will NOT be published. ***

Use the "Name/URL" option.