Jon Jones open to Dominick Reyes rematch: ‘It’s my job to embrace the toughest challenges’

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HOUSTON – Jon Jones isn’t shying away from talk of a potential rematch with Dominick Reyes.

Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) and Reyes (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) battled for five rounds Saturday at UFC 247, with the former retaining his light heavyweight title after a back-and-forth fight resulted in a close – and controversial – unanimous decision.

Jones credited his championship prowess and heart for pushing him to victory. Jones admitted at the post-event news conference that he wasn’t always confident he was winning but knew how to steal the fight in his favor.

“I wasn’t always confident I was winning the fight,” Jones said. “I was confident that I wasn’t going to be giving up or slowing down. Greg Jackson said to me, ‘Jon, you may need to win this fifth round to win.’ The heart of a champion said, ‘No problem, coach. I got that. I can do that for you. I can leave it all out there. I’ve got five minutes left.’

“I think I displayed the difference between a champion and an extraordinary contender. He had all the tools. I think he had the endurance. Something special happens when it’s time for the champion to present himself. You guys saw it tonight in the fifth round.”

The question of “what’s next” has loomed at post-fight news conferences for as long as they’ve existed. UFC president Dana White didn’t rule out the possibility of a potential rematch against Reyes – and Jones didn’t either.

It’s up to the fans and the UFC brass, Jones indicated.

“It’s my job to embrace the toughest challenges,” Jones said. “That’s what a champion is being about. I fought D.C. twice. I had no problem signing the contract. I fought Alexander Gustafsson twice and had no problem signing the contract. If the people want to see me fight Dominick again, it’s going to be up to Dana White to find a way to make that happen.”

The win is the latest addition to an amazing career resume for Jones. The champion holds a plethora of light heavyweight records, which continue to rapidly expand. He holds the most victories in UFC light heavyweight history, most wins in UFC title fight history, most consecutive UFC light heavyweight wins – the list goes on and on.

As for Reyes, the defeat at UFC 247 was the first loss of his professional career, snapping a 12-fight winning streak. The 30-year-old fighter debuted in the UFC in June 2017, quickly climbing the UFC light heavyweight ranks en route to the showdown with Jones.

If everything lines up, it could happen again.