EXCLUSIVE | Dominick Reyes confident he is ‘a better athlete’ than Jon Jones

Dominick Reyes, Jon Jones

Jon Jones is once again the UFC light heavyweight champion, but his work is far from over. Having reclaimed the title, he can now look forward to fights with a new wave of ferocious contenders like Anthony Smith, Jan Blachowicz, Thiago Santos, Corey Anderson, and perhaps the most dangerous fighter of the bunch, Dominick Reyes.

While Dominick Reyes is currently booked for a high-stakes UFC London fight with Volkan Oezdemir, he has long had his crosshairs set on a fight with Jon Jones. And while he recognizes that the seemingly unbeatable Jones would be an incredibly difficult test, he’s confident he’s got the goods to defeat him.

In fact, Dominick Reyes considers himself a better athlete than Jon Jones.

“I haven’t been beaten and I’m continuing to get better everyday and I have the athletic ability to match Jones,” Reyes proclaimed on episode 109 of BJPenn.com Radio. “I think I’m honestly a better athlete. He just is the champ.”

Dominick Reyes added that he also believes he’s got the mental game to compete with Jon Jones.

“Put us in a combine, I’ll beat him athletically but he’s a fantastic fighter,” he said. “I feel I also have the mental game to hang with Jones, you know? I’m not scared of Jones at all. I mean, I have a tremendous amount [of respect for him]. Don’t get me wrong at all. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jones as a fighter.

“But I know I can beat him.”

One of the keys to beating Jon Jones, in Reyes’ opinion, is contact. Good, clean contact. And he believes he’s got the boxing game to get inside and land on the champion. After all, he’s seen shorter men do just that previously.

“I’m really good at getting inside and I’ve seen smaller guys get inside on Jones, like [Daniel Cormier] for instance,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be able to make some clean contact with Jones.”

Whatever the case, Dominick Reyes is confident that he is already on Jones’ radar.

“I already know he has his eye on me,” he said. “He’s mentioned me in interviews before as one of the up and coming guys. He was like, ‘alright, there’s some guys out there,’ and I was one of the guys that he mentioned.”

How do you think Dominick Reyes would perform in a fight with Jon Jones? Could he be the man to unseat the champion?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/23/2019.