When UFC light-heavyweight kingpin Jon “Bones” Jones (25-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) vacated his championship belt on August 17, he felt some positive vibes following a meeting with UFC brass about moving up to the heavyweight division. After long anticipation of the promotion’s top star moving there, he has finally arrived with the big boys. His last title defense came on February 8 against the top contender, Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision. Since Jones is at heavyweight, Reyes (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) will contend for the vacant 205-pound strap against Jan Blachowicz (26-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) at UFC 253 on September 26.
The fight will serve as the co-main event where UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will face Paulo Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) headlining the event. As for Reyes, he not only gets another shot at the title but is claiming that Jones is avoiding a rematch with him. UFC president Dana White mentioned that if Jones were to stay at 205, that he would have had to fight Reyes in an immediate rematch. Reyes felt that Jones made an ego-based decision by choosing to fight in the company’s heaviest weight class.
While Reyes feels that Jones is making a big mistake to vacate the title, the UFC’s fourth all-time winningest fighter, tied with Georges St. Pierre with 20 is looking to become the second fighter to claim the light-heavyweight and heavyweight crown and the eighth fighter in UFC history to win multiple championships in his career.
Furthermore, when the announcements were made for both Jones to go to heavyweight and for the vacant title fight slated for next month, Reyes has also stated that being given six weeks’ notice to face Blachowicz is not enough time to prepare for a title bout.
If another fighter besides Reyes were given the chance to fight for the title, would they be as concerned about the allotted time given to them, which is just over a month? Preparing for a title bout takes further planning. Despite the scheduling dilemma, one would trust that Reyes would make that month leading up to battle an adventure of training before chasing glory in the fight of his life.