Dominick Reyes vividly remembers the morning he first heard about Jon Jones being arrested for DWI and negligent use of a firearm.
“I used to be like ‘no f*cking means,” Reyes instructed MMA Combating. “We’re in quarantine. How? I noticed the official studies and I used to be like that is loopy.”
Reyes battled Jones to a tough fought determination again in January and whereas he left UFC 247 with out the sunshine heavyweight title, many believed he ought to have turn out to be the brand new champion that evening.
Previous to the occasion, Reyes was very candid along with his emotions in direction of Jones and the myriad of issues he’s confronted outdoors the cage, which beforehand included one other DWI in addition to an arrest for a hit-and-run accident again in 2015. Actually, Reyes questioned if Jones’ habits would in the end value him the prospect to combat for the belt within the first place.
“For me, [this latest arrest] was like are you kidding me? After which it was reduction that he didn’t do this earlier than our combat,” Reyes mentioned. “He made it to the combat. That was truly an enormous concern. I acknowledged that earlier than the combat. My concern is that he makes it to the combat as a result of on the time, I believe I referred to as him a legal responsibility.
“It’s the identical crap. Similar story, completely different day. Jon simply being Jon. Can’t get out of his personal means. It’s not search for him as himself however being a champion of the game, it’s additionally not look since you’re going to have individuals suppose you are able to do the flawed issues and nonetheless be OK.”
Following the back-and-forth title combat earlier this yr, the UFC had already began shifting in direction of a rematch between Jones and Reyes. Whereas no offers have been signed, Reyes says early discussions had began with plans to face Jones for a second time within the latter half of 2020.
Whereas Jones already settled this newest arrest with a plea discount deal that noticed him keep away from any jail time, the UFC nonetheless retains the suitable to punish him underneath their athlete code of conduct coverage.
Jones was stripped of his mild heavyweight title following the hit-and-run accident however he jumped proper again right into a championship combat as quickly as he returned to motion. This time round, Reyes believes Jones most likely deserves the same punishment however he additionally desires nothing greater than to avenge his loss contained in the Octagon.
“That’s actually my solely concern,” Reyes mentioned about touchdown the Jones’ rematch. “All the opposite stuff, truthfully as [the] common public, not as a fighter, he ought to most likely be stripped. As a result of you may’t go round doing these issues and don’t have any repercussions.
“As a fighter and because the man who desires to combat him, I wish to be the one to serve him justice. That’s the place I’m with that. I wish to combat him. Simply as a sports activities fan, someone that’s taking a look at doing one thing, there ought to be repercussions to your actions. As a fighter, I wish to beat him up.”
Whereas different contenders like Thiago Santos have referred to as for Jones to be stripped and a brand new champion topped, Reyes has barely completely different motivations.
As a result of he got here so near beating Jones again in February, Reyes desires to take the title from the person who beat him fairly than combat for a vacant belt.
“It’s mine and [Jones] has it proper now,” Reyes mentioned.
Nonetheless, Reyes is rarely going to show down a possibility to combat for gold and if the UFC comes calling with a possibility, he’s going to reply.
“If there’s shiny gold on the finish of the tunnel, I’m there,” Reyes mentioned. “I don’t care who it’s.”