Dominick Reyes has a tall task ahead of him. At UFC 247, which goes down this Saturday in Houston, Texas, he’ll attempt to defeat the seemingly unbeatable UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
One key weakness he sees is Jones’ boxing. Reyes downplayed the champions hands during Wednesday’s UFC 247 athlete panel.
“It’s no secret that Jon isn’t the best boxer in the UFC,” Reyes said. “He’s a great kickboxer. He has great range. He uses his kicks very well. But he’s not the best boxer. I intend to exploit that.
“I think my boxing is probably the best in the division. With footwork and fearlessness, I’ll get in there and put these hands on him.”
“We’ll find out on Saturday,” Reyes added. “I’m a true southpaw. I got this left hand with me right here. We’ll see what happens.”
It did not take long for Jones to respond to these comments from Reyes. Speaking during his own UFC 247 athlete panel, Jones reminded that boxing is only a small part of the MMA arsenal.
“Have you seen his mitt work?” Jones fired back (via MMA Fighting). “He has a tremendous left hand. I’m sure he’s going to work on his right hand, especially because I’ve brought it up so much. But my job is not to go out there and get into a boxing match.
“My job is to be the better mixed martial arts fighter. Like I said, I’m very aware that his best counters come in boxing combinations and I’m not going to give him what he wants. It’s going to be a mixed martial arts fight.”
While Jones doesn’t seem to concerned with this critique from Reyes, he did conceded that his foe is dangerous with his hands.
“He has power,” Jones said. “We can’t deny that. I’ve seen him kick people in the head and knock them out. I’ve seen him drop people with that left and you’ve got to respect it. At the end of the day, I could sit in front of you guys and act like I’ve got it all in the bag but at the end of the day, you don’t know what’s going to happen out there. Anything can happen out there.
“So I’ve just got to respect him tremendously, which I have. We’ve done everything possible that we can do to be strong mentally, spiritually, physically for this fight. He’s a worthy opponent.”
Do you think boxing could be a key area in Saturday night’s Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/6/2020.