Dominick Reyes puts Jon Jones behind him: ‘In order to be the next great champion, I’ve got to move on’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting When Dominick Reyes was seeking a rematch against Jon Jones after their first fight ended in a razor-close decision, it really had nothing to do with revenge. In fact, the 30-year-old light heavyweight made it clear before and after his previous meeting with Jones that his ultimate goal was always about the title but never the person who had the belt around their waist. While the decision handed down by the judges back in February will always eat at him a little bit, Reyes says now that Jones has vacated the title and left the division, he’s putting whatever animosity there once was between them behind him. In fact, Reyes put on a message directed at Jones on Twitter where he admired the battle they shared earlier this year as he wished the former champion the best when making his move up to heavyweight. Hey @JonnyBones thank you for the experience man, I wish you the best of luck in your journey. I know things got a lil crazy, but I just wanted to be pushed beyond my percieved limits by the LHW GOAT again. God bless and God willing we get to dance under those lights again. ✌— Dominick Reyes (@DomReyes) August 30, 2020 “It was me freeing myself from all of that controversy, from that moment,” Reyes said about the message when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I took what I could from it, everything I could from it and I moved forward. “In order to be the next great champion, I’ve got to move on. There can be nothing else in the mirror. It’s one million percent focused on the target in front of me and that’s Jan Blachowicz. In order to move forward, you’ve got to let go of the past. That’s what that was.” A few months ago, Reyes was understandably angry as Jones was at odds with the UFC over his pay, which then led to a standstill with negotiations on his next fight. Jones hinted at retirement and essentially told the UFC he wouldn’t compete again until they could come to terms on a better deal where he would be paid his worth. That left Reyes in limbo after UFC president Dana White had already promised him a rematch with Jones in his next fight. As upset as he was at the delays and not knowing when Jones might actually want to fight again, Reyes eventually had to let all that animosity go so he could put his attention where it needed to be. “It’s me growing as a human being,” Reyes explained. “Me growing as a man, me growing as a fighter and realizing that was a massive opportunity. I might be the last person ever to fight Jon at light heavyweight and I won. Whether the cards say it or not, we both know what happened that night. That’s just the reality of the situation. “I’m very proud and happy that I went through that with him and I’m grateful that I got to be in there and do what I did and he gave me his best. He didn’t underestimate me. Not one bit. I got the best Jon Jones at the time. I just showed that I was better. I learned a sh*t ton of lessons from that fight, and I’m super proud of everything. I’m proud of where I am now. I’m proud to freaking finish the job and get the belt.” If there’s a downside to Jones vacating the title versus Reyes having the chance to face him for it, there might be a bit of a shadow looming over the division once a new champion is crowned. Because Jones holds just about every UFC record in light heavyweight history, there’s no doubt he’s already the greatest champion to ever compete at 205 pounds. In fact, Reyes will be the first to proclaim Jones as the ‘GOAT’ in the division. That said, Reyes isn’t the least bit worried that his own title reign will somehow be tainted just because he didn’t take the title off Jones’ waist. “I’m going to be the baddest light heavyweight on the planet when I perform,” Reyes said. “My next performance is going to speak for itself. It won’t matter. I’m at the point where I don’t give a flying ‘F’ about what anybody says about anything. I love performing. I love going out there and throwing down. I’m getting better and better and better and people are either going to like it or they’re not. “If they don’t like it, that’s on them. I love to get down. If they like it, they’re awesome. They’re on board with the new champ. If not, my paycheck doesn’t change either way.” As far as crossing paths with Jones again, Reyes certainly isn’t writing off that possibility either. If Reyes can become a successful champion there’s a chance he’ll start breaking some records that currently belong to Jones and that might be just the temptation to lure him back for another fight in the future. “God willing we get to dance in the future,” Reyes said. “I think a lot of it comes down to money. I’m not a big enough draw yet. So win the belt, defend it a couple of times and we’ll see what happens.”

Dominick Reyes puts Jon Jones behind him: ‘In order to be the next great champion, I’ve got to move on’
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When Dominick Reyes was seeking a rematch against Jon Jones after their first fight ended in a razor-close decision, it really had nothing to do with revenge.

In fact, the 30-year-old light heavyweight made it clear before and after his previous meeting with Jones that his ultimate goal was always about the title but never the person who had the belt around their waist.

While the decision handed down by the judges back in February will always eat at him a little bit, Reyes says now that Jones has vacated the title and left the division, he’s putting whatever animosity there once was between them behind him.

In fact, Reyes put on a message directed at Jones on Twitter where he admired the battle they shared earlier this year as he wished the former champion the best when making his move up to heavyweight.

“It was me freeing myself from all of that controversy, from that moment,” Reyes said about the message when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I took what I could from it, everything I could from it and I moved forward.

“In order to be the next great champion, I’ve got to move on. There can be nothing else in the mirror. It’s one million percent focused on the target in front of me and that’s Jan Blachowicz. In order to move forward, you’ve got to let go of the past. That’s what that was.”

A few months ago, Reyes was understandably angry as Jones was at odds with the UFC over his pay, which then led to a standstill with negotiations on his next fight.

Jones hinted at retirement and essentially told the UFC he wouldn’t compete again until they could come to terms on a better deal where he would be paid his worth. That left Reyes in limbo after UFC president Dana White had already promised him a rematch with Jones in his next fight.

As upset as he was at the delays and not knowing when Jones might actually want to fight again, Reyes eventually had to let all that animosity go so he could put his attention where it needed to be.

“It’s me growing as a human being,” Reyes explained. “Me growing as a man, me growing as a fighter and realizing that was a massive opportunity. I might be the last person ever to fight Jon at light heavyweight and I won. Whether the cards say it or not, we both know what happened that night. That’s just the reality of the situation.

“I’m very proud and happy that I went through that with him and I’m grateful that I got to be in there and do what I did and he gave me his best. He didn’t underestimate me. Not one bit. I got the best Jon Jones at the time. I just showed that I was better. I learned a sh*t ton of lessons from that fight, and I’m super proud of everything. I’m proud of where I am now. I’m proud to freaking finish the job and get the belt.”

If there’s a downside to Jones vacating the title versus Reyes having the chance to face him for it, there might be a bit of a shadow looming over the division once a new champion is crowned.

Because Jones holds just about every UFC record in light heavyweight history, there’s no doubt he’s already the greatest champion to ever compete at 205 pounds. In fact, Reyes will be the first to proclaim Jones as the ‘GOAT’ in the division.

That said, Reyes isn’t the least bit worried that his own title reign will somehow be tainted just because he didn’t take the title off Jones’ waist.

“I’m going to be the baddest light heavyweight on the planet when I perform,” Reyes said. “My next performance is going to speak for itself. It won’t matter. I’m at the point where I don’t give a flying ‘F’ about what anybody says about anything. I love performing. I love going out there and throwing down. I’m getting better and better and better and people are either going to like it or they’re not.

“If they don’t like it, that’s on them. I love to get down. If they like it, they’re awesome. They’re on board with the new champ. If not, my paycheck doesn’t change either way.”

As far as crossing paths with Jones again, Reyes certainly isn’t writing off that possibility either.

If Reyes can become a successful champion there’s a chance he’ll start breaking some records that currently belong to Jones and that might be just the temptation to lure him back for another fight in the future.

“God willing we get to dance in the future,” Reyes said. “I think a lot of it comes down to money. I’m not a big enough draw yet. So win the belt, defend it a couple of times and we’ll see what happens.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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After earning first UFC finish, Sean Brady ‘would love’ to fight Robbie Lawler

Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting After securing his first UFC finish and performance bonus, Sean Brady has earned quite a bit of buzz in the 170-pound division. The undefeated prospect improved to 3-0 in the octagon with an impressive second-round submission win over Christian Aguilera at UFC Vegas 8 this past month. Brady earned dominant decision wins in his previous promotional appearances over Court McGee and Ismail Naurdiev but felt he’d have to earn a victory inside the distance to get the notoriety he deserved. “It feels great,” Brady told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “I’ve only had three UFC fights, but I’ve been dreaming about getting a finish in the UFC my entire career. I’ve always known I’ve had those finishing capabilities and, in the UFC, I had two decisions, which there’s nothing wrong with that. “I knew I’d have to eventually start getting some finishes and I just had to believe in myself. I got around his neck and thought, ‘All right, this is it.’” Following the win, Paul Felder—Brady’s teammate and the event’s color commentator—had hoped the 27-year-old would have a name in mind for his next opponent. Brady stated that he wanted a big name, which Felder, and other MMA pundits, agreed with. “I’m not much of a callout guy but I’ll tell you what I would like: I would like a legend fight,” Brady explained. “I’m 13-0 and I feel like everyone has that legend fight where it takes them to the next step. “I want a big name. I would want to fight somebody in the top-15 but [the rankings] are so weird because Anthony Pettis is still in there. I think Conor McGregor is still in there, Nate Diaz is still in there. It’s so strange, but I just want a big name. My goal in 2020 was to get into the top-15. I don’t know if I’ll get there, but that’s what I’m working towards.” When asked about days later, he revealed that he wanted to share a card with Felder, with whom Brady believes will return to the octagon sooner rather than later after teasing retirement following a decision loss to Dan Hooker. Fans and media gave their suggestions on Brady’s next opponent and one name stuck out to him more than others. “I would love to fight Robbie Lawler,” Brady said. “That would be the fight for me. I mean, it’s Robbie Lawler. I’m not trying to call him out or anything like that, but I want to test myself against guys that I was watching as I was coming up. Robbie Lawler was the man. “If they sent me that name, that would be perfect.” Of all the names thrown out there for the Philly native, it was another welterweight prospect that has made a big impact in 2020: Khamzat Chimaev. Brady would certainly take that fight in a heartbeat should it be presented to him. However, from a business perspective, the 13-0 Philly native doesn’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to match them up this quickly in their UFC tenures. “I’m not a huge fan of it (right now),” Brady stated. “We’re both [trending upwards], why have us collide now when, eventually, we’ll keep building and building to the top-15, top-10, we can fight then. Right now, let us keep growing. I want to test myself against other guys, first—guys like Robbie, Anthony Pettis—I would fight any of these guys. “I want fights with guys who are gonna boost me up. So yeah, I’m not too crazy about that, but I don’t make the decisions. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

After earning first UFC finish, Sean Brady ‘would love’ to fight Robbie Lawler
Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting

After securing his first UFC finish and performance bonus, Sean Brady has earned quite a bit of buzz in the 170-pound division.

The undefeated prospect improved to 3-0 in the octagon with an impressive second-round submission win over Christian Aguilera at UFC Vegas 8 this past month. Brady earned dominant decision wins in his previous promotional appearances over Court McGee and Ismail Naurdiev but felt he’d have to earn a victory inside the distance to get the notoriety he deserved.

“It feels great,” Brady told MMA Fighting while appearing on . “I’ve only had three UFC fights, but I’ve been dreaming about getting a finish in the UFC my entire career. I’ve always known I’ve had those finishing capabilities and, in the UFC, I had two decisions, which there’s nothing wrong with that.

“I knew I’d have to eventually start getting some finishes and I just had to believe in myself. I got around his neck and thought, ‘All right, this is it.’”

Following the win, Paul Felder—Brady’s teammate and the event’s color commentator—had hoped the 27-year-old would have a name in mind for his next opponent. Brady stated that he wanted a big name, which Felder, and other MMA pundits, agreed with.

“I’m not much of a callout guy but I’ll tell you what I would like: I would like a legend fight,” Brady explained. “I’m 13-0 and I feel like everyone has that legend fight where it takes them to the next step.

“I want a big name. I would want to fight somebody in the top-15 but [the rankings] are so weird because Anthony Pettis is still in there. I think Conor McGregor is still in there, Nate Diaz is still in there. It’s so strange, but I just want a big name. My goal in 2020 was to get into the top-15. I don’t know if I’ll get there, but that’s what I’m working towards.”

When asked about days later, he revealed that he wanted to share a card with Felder, with whom Brady believes will return to the octagon sooner rather than later after teasing retirement following a decision loss to Dan Hooker.

Fans and media gave their suggestions on Brady’s next opponent and one name stuck out to him more than others.

“I would love to fight Robbie Lawler,” Brady said. “That would be the fight for me. I mean, it’s Robbie Lawler. I’m not trying to call him out or anything like that, but I want to test myself against guys that I was watching as I was coming up. Robbie Lawler was the man.

“If they sent me that name, that would be perfect.”

Of all the names thrown out there for the Philly native, it was another welterweight prospect that has made a big impact in 2020: Khamzat Chimaev.

Brady would certainly take that fight in a heartbeat should it be presented to him. However, from a business perspective, the 13-0 Philly native doesn’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to match them up this quickly in their UFC tenures.

“I’m not a huge fan of it (right now),” Brady stated. “We’re both [trending upwards], why have us collide now when, eventually, we’ll keep building and building to the top-15, top-10, we can fight then. Right now, let us keep growing. I want to test myself against other guys, first—guys like Robbie, Anthony Pettis—I would fight any of these guys.

“I want fights with guys who are gonna boost me up. So yeah, I’m not too crazy about that, but I don’t make the decisions. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Source : MMA Fighting More   

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