Image source: Jon Jones Instagram (@jonnybones)
The only consensus the MMA community can agree on is that the decision was extremely close and Jon Jones’ striking coach, Mike Winklejohn, spoke to MMA Fighting and said he agrees but feels Jones did enough to edge the fight.
“We lost the first round. The second round I thought we edged. The third round, we might not have got that round. I honestly had 2, 4 and 5. I think 2 and 3 were really close.
You never know with judges. I was telling Jon to keep up the pressure, the pressure’s working. Keep working the body. Keep working those legs. Keep doing what you’re doing and try to break this kid. Of course, I wanted the takedown, too, but Dominick was just an incredible athlete. He’s so good at what he does.
I just wanted Jon to keep gassing the kid out because he’s known for his endurance and I believe it worked out that way. Jon just kept going, dug down deep and it was an awesome fight.”
Winklejohn had heaps of praise for Reyes whilst also admitting that the knockdown in the first round panicked him as he though Reyes caught Jones clean on the chin.
“I won’t lie, when he hit Jon with a punch that put him down Dominick’s back was to me and I said, ‘Oh shit’. I honestly thought he hit him in the chin because my view was blocked. Of course, I found out that wasn’t the case, but all in all, he came out guns blazing.
Greg actually said, ‘He’s coming out hard, you can tell by his posture.’ Greg’s real smart with stuff like that. We knew he was going to come out guns blazing, and he did. That kid’s got such a bright future.”
There has been a lot of talk lately that fans want to give rounds to Jones’ opposition if they have some success as they aren’t used to seeing much adversity in a Jones fight. Winklejohn also tends to agree with that perspective.
“You hear from the ones that disagree; the ones that agree don’t get online and start talking. When you’re on top, they want to see them fall. Jon is constantly breaking somebody down, hitting them to the body, hitting them to the legs, whatever the case is, and he always does that, but as soon as he gets hit; ‘Oh my god, the champ just got hit!’
So, emotions get involved, we have to deal with a little bit of that. It’s also styles. Like I said, I know Jon won that fight and he dug down deep to do so because Dominick is that damn good.”
Ultimately though, Winklejohn knows that Jones and Reyes are likely to square off again and has no doubt that Jones’ impressive run of looking better in rematches will continue.
“There’s no doubt about that; Jon likes rematches. Jon is a student of the game. We would all put our heads together, but at the end of the day, Jon sits down and says, ‘This wasn’t good, this is what he can do,’ and he’ll be even more motivated. Just like Gustafsson where you saw his performance was totally different.
It’s not that he took anybody light, but he’s just so smart at making those small adjustments that are needed. Us as a team, we’ll try to help out as well.”
Jones actually spoke with BT Sport presenter Caroline Pearce after the fight about a potential rematch and said he wouldn’t be set on a rematch unless he felt he really didn’t win the fight after watching it back.
“As far as a rematch I think I need to go back and watch the fight. After I watch the fight, and if I don’t feel good about it, then maybe a rematch will be underway but if I watch the fight and I feel like I totally won the fight then I’ll have to talk with uncle Dana and see what he wants to do.”
Jon Jones has also taken to Instagram to share his coaches views that he believes they did enough to win the bout. Perhaps, based on Jones’ comments, we don’t see the immediate rematch that many have been clamouring for Reyes to get.