Dominick Reyes is grateful for his rivalry with former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, but concedes that their rivalry has reached its conclusion.
Reyes challenged Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title in February, and ultimately lost a hotly debated unanimous decision. After this controversial outcome, he was adamant that he deserved a second crack at the champion. In the end, however, Jones vacated the light heavyweight title to move up to the heavyweight division, and Reyes was booked for a fight with Poland’s Jan Blachowicz, which will crown the new light heavyweight champ.
With a new challenge on the horizon, Reyes is ready to move past his brief rivalry with Jones, but admits he’s grateful for the time he spent in competition with a fighter many consider the best of all time
“It’s over,” Reyes said on Submission Radio, putting his rivalry with Jones to bed. “He’s gone. There’s no point in trying to get a rematch with someone that’s not in the division anymore. It’s over. It’s time for a new reign, it’s time for a new king, and I’m ready to take that role.
“To be honest, there wasn’t really anything between us. We fought our hearts out against each other, we put on a hell of performance for the fans, and there was controversy surrounding the fight. You know, it gave people a lot of things to talk about, it was really cool. It was exactly what I wanted out of it. I’ve always been searching for a guy to push me to my limits and teach me new things and show me that I am more powerful than I think I am, and that fight was that for me and I’m grateful for that. And yeah, I don’t have any ill will towards Jon. I was a little irked by not being able to get a rematch, but stepping back and looking at it, you know, it’s business. He was trying to keep his legacy and keep his money up, and I’m trying to do the same. So, it’s all good.”
If Reyes defeats Blachowicz, he’ll be the UFC light heavyweight champ, but some fans may still consider Jones the division’s true champion. Jones may even hold that viewpoint himself.
Reyes, however, isn’t stressing about that possibility.
“I don’t really expect him to do all that, and if he was gonna do all that, he wouldn’t have left the division,” Reyes said. “So, that’s completely backtracking on what you acted on, you know what I’m saying? I don’t think he’s the type of guy to completely leave the division and try to talk trash about the division. That wouldn’t make sense. But you never know, you never know.
“To be honest, it doesn’t really matter at all. I’ll still have the gold belt.”
Do you think we’ll ever see a rematch between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes?