Dominick Reyes Confirms UFC Held Preliminary Jon Jones Rematch Talks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 4, 2020

Dominick Reyes gets ready to fight Chris Weldman in a light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, at UFC Fight Night in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC wanted to set up a light heavyweight title rematch between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes. 

Speaking to ESPN's Brett Okamoto in an interview published on Saturday, Reyes said the organization was looking to schedule the bout for some time in the fall before things stopped because of the pandemic.

"Yes, we were talking early fall," Reyes said. "We started moving along, moving along, and then [COVID-19]. And that was it."

Reyes and Jones fought in the main event of UFC 247 on Feb. 8. Jones retained the light heavyweight crown by unanimous decision, but the fight was close with two judges scoring it 48-47. 

Despite the defeat, Reyes told Okamoto he believes a rematch with Jones will be his next fight whenever it can happen:

"What I did in our fight, what happened, it was a big event. 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."

Recent legal issues for the champion have also cast some doubt over a potential rematch.

Jones reached a plea deal on Tuesday following his March 26 arrest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on charges of aggravated DWI, negligent use of a firearm, possession of an open container, and no proof of insurance. 

Under terms of his plea, Jones received 96 hours of community custody, one year of supervised probation, a minimum 90 days of outpatient therapy and 48 hours of community service. 

UFC's schedule has been impacted by the pandemic, though Dana White remains steadfast in his attempts to keep the promotion running events. 

After holding UFC Fight Night 170 from Brasília, Brazil in an empty arena on March 14, White announced the next three events would be postponed.

White is still hoping to hold UFC 249 on April 18, though no location has been announced. The show was supposed to be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov defending the lightweight title against Tony Ferguson, but that match appears to be off after Nurmagomedov posted on Instagram Thursday that he was staying home in quarantine. 

The loss was Reyes' first as a professional mixed martial artist. Nine of his 12 career wins have come by knockout or submission, including four in the UFC. 

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