UFC champion Jon Jones heaps praise on former opponent Dominick Reyes: “He was giving me a true f**king run for my money”

By Harry Kettle - August 30, 2023

Jon Jones has praised former opponent Dominick Reyes for pushing him to the limit in their title bout at UFC 247.

Jon Jones, Dominick Reyes

Earlier this year, Jon Jones returned to the Octagon after three years away and captured the UFC heavyweight championship. Prior to that, though, his last bout came in February 2020 when he defended his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. It was a close, intense bout and in the eyes of many, Reyes did enough to secure the win and the belt.


Thankfully for Jones, the judges thought differently and awarded him the victory. Now, three years later, ‘Bones’ has spoken candidly about what was going through his mind during that contest.

“Jesse Owens, that was the quote,” Jones said on the OverDogs podcast. “‘I decided I wasn’t going to come down, I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.’

“I’ll give you an example of when that quote came to me in the middle of a fight,” he continued. “I was fighting Dominick Reyes and it was in round one. He hit me with like a spinning back kick to the face and then he punched me in the stomach and I hit the floor and it was technically a knockdown. Even the look that he had in his eyes and the way that he talked to me before the fight, telling me he was a multisport athlete and he wasn’t afraid of me and that he believed it was his destiny to beat me and all this types of stuff.

Jones recalls Reyes showdown

“I got in the fight with him and he was giving me a true f—king run for my money,” Jones added. “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.’ That’s what like a voice said to me right in the middle of the cage. It was like, ‘You may have met your match.’ As clear as day, I saw a door in the Octagon and it was just like, ‘Hey. You’ve had a great career. You’ve done a lot of great things. This kid, he wants it, he’s hungry for it, Jon. It’s okay if you come up short in this one. Just don’t let him knock you out but you can just kind of skate through this one and let the kid have it, Jon.’”

“Then I thought about that flying and never coming down — it’s a decision to give up on yourself,” Jones said. “And something just said just as clear as that other voice, ‘F—k that’ (laughs). Not you, not today, not me.”

Quotes via MMA Mania

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