Last night at UFC 247 we saw a very interesting fight between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and number one contender Dominick Reyes. As has become custom with Jon Jones fights, the bout went the distance and landed in the lap of the judges (who had not been without controversy to this point in the night). Fans on Twitter seemed to go up in arms when Bruce Buffer shouted ‘AND STILL’ rather than ‘AND NEW’, feeling like Reyes had been robbed – which just isn’t true.
There is no doubting that the judges in Houston this weekend had a poor night, almost every fight to go the distance saw some kind of strange scorecard from one or more judges, which led to a number of different split decisions on the night.
Fan backlash seemed to reach its zenith following the main event as swathes of MMA followers jumped onto Twitter to rant and scream about how Dominick Reyes was robbed, how he clearly won the fight and how it was just inconceivable that anyone could give the fight to Jones.
Now, that’s not to say that Reyes didn’t win the fight,that is something that could be heavily debated throughout the coming days, weeks and months. But the notion that it was a landslide victory or that it was the worst decision in history is slightly preposterous. There is one round which is key in this argument – round two.
It should be clear to everyone that Dominick Reyes won rounds one and three, with Jones clearly taking four and five. You’ll be hard pressed to find many people that disagree with that opinion… other than whichever judge thought that this was a 49-46 victory for Jones.
Whether Jones or Reyes won the round is almost inconsequential in this debate, the underlying issue stems from the fact it was a close round. While Reyes landed a larger number of strikes he did so at a far lower percentage than Jones, throwing in volume however not very accurately. Jones was able to slip and avoid a number of shots while still advancing and putting pressure on his opponent for the majority of the fight.
Both men had a credible argument for winning the second round, it’s essentially the only round in the entire fight that is actually up for debate. But this round is the swing, it is the reason that although a number of fans believe Reyes won (an entirely fair opinion), to say he was blatantly robbed of the victory is just incorrect. He clearly won two rounds and there is a fair argument for him winning a third – the fact that the decision went against him, doesn’t make it a robbery.
Regardless of that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these two men facing off in the octagon again before the year is out, with Reyes standing tall above the majority of contenders in the division and holding a close fight with Jones. Make sure to check back over the coming days for more coverage of UFC 247.