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Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 Betting Preview With Predictions
Dominick Reyes will become the latest man tasked with trying to stop the inimitable UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
The bout will headline the upcoming UFC 247 on February 8 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
In terms of tasks, Reyes’ is up there with the efforts of The Italian Job, Ocean’s 11, and Reservoir Dogs. A win over the unbeaten Jones would more resemble a heist than your average victory inside the cage.
Why? Because Jon Jones is just that good.
Anyone who has ever bet on Jones to lose a fight — bar his 2009 disqualification for 12-6 elbows on the poor head of Matt Hamill — has lost money. Every time. No one has ever cracked the combination of the Jones safe, and almost no one has ever even come close to doing so.
Ergo, it is no surprise that the recommended UFC sportsbooks and top MMA betting apps have Jones as a big favorite to dispatch of Dominick Reyes. The unbeaten challenger is a very attractive price to do what has not been done before.
Can Reyes shake up the world and give Jones a little taste of his own medicine? Let’s dive into my Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes predictions.
Latest Jones vs. Reyes Winner Odds
Here are the odds for UFC 247’s main event from BetNow.
Jones is the -450 favorite to beat Reyes, despite the underdog never losing a fight in his mixed martial arts career.
Reyes is +350 to beat Jones. These odds could potentially entice a few UFC betting fans into backing underdog on the night.
What Makes Jon Jones Great?
Jones is arguably the most naturally gifted mixed martial artist of all time. The guy has been nothing short of unstoppable since joining the UFC as a 20-year-old in April 2008.
Anyone who knows Jones will be aware that the only person capable of beating him to date has been himself. But it looks as though the native of Rochester, New York, has finally put his demons to rest.
Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history at 23, and he has been the gold standard of light heavyweights since then. His resume reads like an absolute graveyard of some of the greatest talents to grace 205 pounds.
Just check out some of these names.
- Stephan Bonnar
- Brandon Vera
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
- Lyoto Machida
- Rashad Evans
- Vitor Belfort
- Chael Sonnen
- Alexander Gustafsson (x2)
- Glover Teixeira
- Daniel Cormier
- Thiago Santos
While the light heavyweight division is a little, um, light these days, Jones proved himself at a time when many of the guys above were in the prime of their careers.
Jones’ achievements have seen him set a number of records in the division, such as the most wins, the most title defenses, and the longest winning streak at 205 pounds.
There is no doubt he is the greatest light heavyweight of all time, and he has a claim to being the best fighter the sport has ever had, period. But in recent times, has Jones really lived up to his reputation as unbeatable?
Jones’ Form in His Third UFC Stint
Rather than focusing on the reasons for Jones’ absences from the sport — as a quick Google search can answer those questions — I would prefer to focus on Jones’ recent form since returning to the UFC in December 2018.
Jones has had three fights since then, with the first of those bouts serving as the most eagerly anticipated rematch in the promotion’s history.
That fight, against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, was a run back of the legendary 2013 scrap that was Jones’ toughest ever test as a mixed martial artist. Sweden’s Gustafsson was such a match for Jones in that first fight, with some even suggesting that he had done enough to take the win.
The rematch was anything but close, however, as Jones picked Gus apart from the outside before eventually taking the Swede down and ending the fight with some nasty ground and pound.
It was an impressive performance by Jones, who took the biggest fight in the division at that time.
Next up, Jones made the slightly controversial choice to fight former middleweight Anthony Smith in March 2019. Jones was a -1000 favorite to win, but Smith was no easy task.
Despite landing an illegal knee that could have seen the fight stopped, Smith opted to carry on rather than feign injury. If he had chosen the latter option, he would have likely won the title.
In July, Jones earned a split decision victory over another former middleweight, Thiago Santos. The champion didn’t look his best in this bout, leading to many questioning if his star might be on the wane.
Could Reyes’ odds look even more appealing when we look back at that fight? Could he be the man to finally say, “I beat Jon Jones?”
Is Dominick Reyes a Worthy Challenger?
If you ask Reyes that question, he’ll likely come back with a response questioning if Jones is worthy of a shot at him.
After all, he is already planning for the rematch.
“I’m already planning the rematch in Cowboy Stadium. That’s already in the works. I already know what’s going to happen. I’m going to beat him, it’s not going to be enough. Perfect, let’s do it in Cowboy Stadium — except this time it’s my pay-per-view.”
Confidence, eh? What has it ever done for anyone?
Evidently, it has done a lot for many since the dawn of time. And if you are going to step into the cage against a fighter like Jon Jones, the chances are you are going to need as much of it as you can get.
But for anyone who knows the “rockstar” type individual that can’t sing — or the “Instagram model” that looks like a slightly less intimidating Freddy Krueger with cheap makeup — confidence without substance is not a winning combination.
Reyes, on the other hand, is a guy that actually has a lot to be confident about.
With an immaculate 12-0 record in pro-MMA, with seven of those wins coming in the UFC, the 29-year-old is on his way up. He is riding the crest of a wave that has brought up him right up the highest reaches of the game.
His confidence comes from the fact that he has never tasted defeat but has also been stopping opponents for fun since his debut in 2014. Only three of his 12 wins have ever gone past the first round, which has earned him a reputation as a guy not to be messed with.
But that’s all good and well when you are fighting guys who do not respond to the name “Jon Jones.”
Reyes’ Recent Form
Looking back at Reyes’ rise up the UFC light heavyweight rankings, it is difficult to make a case for why he should be a huge threat to Jones.
Well, based on his past wins, that is. After all, his biggest victories to date have come against Chris Weidman and Volkan Oezdemir. I’m not going to indulge in MMA math, but it is worth pointing out that Jones would make easy work of these two.
In October, Reyes knocked out the former UFC middleweight champion, Weidman, in less than two minutes of the first round. Weidman, who had moved up from middleweight, was far removed from the guy that beat Anderson Silva to win the title in 2013.
Prior to that fight, Reyes earned a unanimous decision against Oezdemir in March. That performance was solid, but nothing too remarkable.
The same can be said for his decision win over Ovince Saint Preux in October 2018. It was a solid win against a guy that took Jon Jones to the cards in a UFC title bout in 2016.
Sure, Reyes is a growing talent. He has the size and power to eventually make his way to the summit of the division, but I can’t help but think that he probably needs a little more refining before he can truly challenge Jones.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean he cannot win.
Betting on Jones vs. Reyes
Anyone considering betting on Reyes to beat Jones will be looking at his odds of +350 with the optimism of a dog staring at a piping hot Thanksgiving turkey.
It is only when you really consider the chances of Reyes pulling it off that things look a little less appetizing. I mean, in order for the challenger to win this fight, he is going to have to beat the pound for pound number one in the UFC.
To put that ranking into perspective, Jones is considering a more dominant athlete in his division than the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo are in theirs.
Jones is synonymous with the light heavyweight class and has cleaned out the division in numerous eras. While 205 pounds might not be as stacked as other divisions, he has remained unbeaten at times when it was.
Sizing up both fighters, some believe that Reyes’ height could be a problem for Jones. Both men stand at 6’4″, but Jones’ freakish reach of 84″ is much longer than Reyes’ at 76″.
It is this reach that gives Bones an advantage over his opponents. But let’s be honest here — there is a lot more to the champion than long limbs, as much as they do help him in his fights.
Why Jones Will Beat Reyes
Look, you have to take a few things into account when betting on Jones vs. Reyes.
If you want to feel comfortable wagering on this fight, you have to go with Jones. Not only is he the champion and the pound for pound best on the planet, but he is the more experienced fighter with the better resume of the two.
More than this, Jones is the better mixed martial artist. He is just about as well rounded a fighter as it gets. From the top to the bottom, Jones has no discernible weaknesses, but a multitude of strengths that have helped him solve every puzzle every put in front of him.
While Reyes is dangerous and has power, I’m not convinced that he will be able to work his way into range in order to catch Jones.
Jones will frustrate Reyes and pick him off from the outside. When it comes to adapting inside the cage, there is no better fighter that can think on his feet than Bones.
I see this one going a few rounds before Jones catches him and takes him down. I would not be surprised if Jones wins this one by submission, which would be his first since landing an Americana on Vitor Belfort in 2012.
Dominick Reyes is a fighter that could go on to great things. A win over Jon Jones would put him at the top of the world, but I’m not sure that February 8 at UFC 247 will be his time in the sun.
Jones looks just too good for the division he is in, and I expect him to win this fight. With 2020 just around the corner, can he make it through the decade without losing a single bout?
I guess we will just have to wait and see.