What a way to announce yourself to the mainstream it was! Reyes, who entered his first world-title matchup as a considerable underdog, gave the champion one of the – if not the toughest fight of his career to date.
For five rounds, the pair were separated by only the finest of margins – a pivotal third-round that stood between the early assault from Reyes and the later domination from Jones.
Most likely, your opinion on the fight’s outcome will likely revolve around your scoring of that middle round and while it was Jones who got the nod in the end, Reyes’ stock has well and truly gone through the roof in the time since.
And while Jones has been pushing for a clash against Reyes’ fellow contender Jan Blachowicz next, according to UFC head honcho Dana White, it is the American who, above all others, deserves another shot at the belt.
Speaking to TMZ in a recent interview, the UFC president gave credit to the challenger Reyes for his efforts in the UFC 247 main-event while making it clear that he is very much deserving of another shot at the champ.
“I think [Reyes deserves a rematch]. You’d be crazy not to think he deserves a rematch.”
When pushed further on the bout and its chances of actually going ahead – White seemed to speak positively about the contest’s likelihood.
“I think there’s a very good chance of that!”
Of course, White has been known to speak freely in the past and who knows exactly how long it will be until we see Jones/Reyes II, but in a time where 205lb contenders are in short supply, it is certainly good to see some fresh blood in the division.
Light-heavyweight has traditionally been one of the most historically significant divisions in the sport – with many of the stars of the ‘golden era’ of mixed martial arts plying their trade amongst the sea of 205lb-r’s.
Reyes, though no doubt green, could well find himself in a spot amongst the very best to ever do it if he can push on one step further and become the first man to defeat Jones inside the octagon.
As we all know, Jon has been nothing short of lethal in the two rematches he has played a part in in the past – TKO’ing both Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson in the third round at the second time of asking.
Whether Reyes can break the mould or not is anyone’s guess but history will tell us that Jon and his team at JacksonWink have an incredible attention to detail and another camp’s worth of study could well prove vital.