Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes - a closer look at the match up

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  1. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes - a closer look at how they match up against each other
    [Warning: a lot of text is about to follow]

    [​IMG]

    On the 8th of february, Jon Jones (25-1) will once again try to successfully defend the UFC's light heavyweight belt - this time he's up against the #4 ranked contender Dominick Reyes (12-0) - so let's take a look on how their abilities match up to each other.

    Table of contents:
    1. Quick summary and tell of the tape of Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes
    2. A further examination of Jones' and Reyes' skillset
    3. The keys to victory: what have Jones and Reyes to do in order to win?


    Quick summary - Jon Jones
    Record: 25-1 (19-1 UFC)
    Age: 32
    Stance: orthodox
    KO/TKO: 40% (3x KO, 7x TKO)
    Sub: 24% (6x)
    Dec: 36% (8x UD, 1x SD)
    Height: 6'4" / 193 cm
    Reach: 84.5" / 215 cm
    Leg reach: 45"

    The best fighter of all time for many despite his asterisk, but certainly the most dominant light heavyweight of all time by quite a margin, Jon "Bones" Jones embodies what many consider to be the blueprint for the perfect fighter. Having great wrestling coupled with devastating ground and pound, vicious strikes from the clinch, a good submission-game and last but not least a striking skill set which is based around picking opponents apart and slowing them down from range, making use of his humongous reach, Jon Jones is a terrible foe to go up against and has proven to be the bad match up that one would expect given his abilities, against pretty much every opponent he has faced.

    Quick summary - Dominick Reyes
    Record: 12-0 (6-0 UFC)
    Age: 30
    Stance: southpaw
    KO/TKO: 58% (3x KO, 4x TKO)
    Sub: 17% (2x)
    Dec: 25% (2x UD, 1x SD)
    Height: 6'4" / 193 cm
    Reach: 77" / 196 cm
    Leg reach: 43.5"

    Having strung together a win-streak of 6-0 inside the UFC with four of those wins coming by finish, the "Devastator" Dominick Reyes looks to beat Jon Jones the coming weekend, crowning himself the UFC light heavyweight champion. With a background in american football in which his athleticism was already apparent, Dominick Reyes is a fairly well-rounded kickboxer who fights from the southpaw stance and is to an extent reminiscent of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, who, similar to Dominick Reyes, made great use of his kicks with an emphasis on his rear leg and - to the excitement of many and the distress of his opponents - knocked dudes senseless left and right. The future seems bright for Reyes, but with Jones as his next opponent he'll face his by far toughest challenge yet.

    A further examination of Jones' and Reyes' skill set

    - Jon Jones -
    With these things said, what are we exactly looking at in terms of those fighters strengths, weaknesses and go-to strategies? Let's just start where the fight starts: on the feet.
    Despite his background in wrestling, the stand-up is where Jones beats most of his opponents, especially nowadays, although he still goes for the takedown if the opportunity arises to so.
    So what is it, that makes Jones stand-up so good? After all, he has never been outstruck in his entire UFC-career and he has faced the cream of the crop of the light heavyweight division for a very long time. Before we go deeper into the striking though, here's a short summary of why being the better wrestler helps in the stand up as well:

    Short excursus: the influence of the wrestling threat in the stand up
    First of all, it should be mentioned that being the better wrestler, especially offensively, helps significantly in the striking department, as it both opens up the opponents defense since he's understandingly worried about getting taken down and on the other hand frees up the superior wrestler from being concerned about getting taken down himself.
    For this reason alone, the striking of great takedown artists is not seldom enhanced to a level where they're able to hold their own against fighters that'd soundly beat them in striking-match.
    One of the most prominent examples of this is the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, where despite being outlanded on the feet, the "Notorious" was not able to land anything really significant and was at one point knocked down by the dagestani champion.
    [​IMG]

    Being worried abot a takedown from the forward-leaning Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor moves his hips back and keeps his hands down to defend it - Nurmagomedov then knocks McGregor, who has his chin in the air down with an overhand right.

    Other examples are Khabib's fights against Iaquinta (100 to 41 significant strikes on the feet) and his fight against Edson Barboza (32 to 23 significant strikes landed from distance.)

    Back to Jon Jones: as mentioned, being the better wrestler helps significantly in the stand up and Jones is the better wrestler in almost every of his fights, but i'll delve into Jones wrestling' influence on his striking later again. A known factor of what makes Jones so effective, is his length and in particular his reach: standing at 6 feet and 4 inches (193 cm) tall, Jones is on the tall end of his division anyways, but his reach of 84.5 inches (215 cm) is almost unheard of, especially at light heavyweight.
    To put into perspective: Alexander Gustafsson is at 6 foot and 5 inches of height (196 cm) and 79 inches (201 cm) considered to be a really long light heavyweight, yet he still gives up 5.5 inches (14 cm) in reach against Jones.
    Granted, the fact that Jones opponents are almost always shorter than him and have a way shorter reach has helped him a lot, but his understanding and use of range is still exceptional in the sport.
    Jones favorite weapons are linear attacks, which is understandable, as they've got the longest reach and with a fighter like Jones, they pay even more off, which is why he does some of his best work with the jab, cross, the teep to the body and lastly: the oblique kick. No matter what your opinions are on this controversial technique, there's no denying its effectiveness and you probably won't find a fighter in mixed martial arts who puts them to use as often and as effectively as Jon Jones does.
    [​IMG]
    Jon Jones landing an oblique kick on Quinton Jackson, like he did numerous time during that fight, slowly but steady shutting "Rampage" down completely.

    It's not just that the oblique works for Jones in the sense that he's good at landing it to ensure he outstrikes his opponents, no, what makes it so effective is the fact that it slows his opponents noticably down, sometimes to the point where they become to shy to engage, as moving forward would mean to walk into another one of those kicks, increasing the power by moving into it as well.
    This, alongside his mostly straight kicks to the body, allows Jones to outstrike, slow down and drain his opponents stamina all at once, which is a huge part on why he's so successful on the feet.
    His jab and cross are nothing too remarkable, but he lands them with success most of the time as well and due to his reach it's almost impossible to land on Jones without him landing as well.
    Often, Jones also extends his arm and uses it as a frame in order to keep his opponent away, but also to gauge distance and to grab his opponents wrist - not seldom has he used this technique to land elbows on his opponents.
    As already said earlier, Jones has a fantastic understanding of range and his effectiveness from there is pretty much anparalleled, but if a fighter - or Jon Jones himself - decides to close the distance though, Jones does - if he's not going for a takedown - pretty much immediately initiate the clinch, which is the second area where Jones excels at; considering Jones' length, one would think that a huge part of his success in the clinch is due to his physical advantages and while it helps tremendously, there are many fighters with similar physical advantages in their fight who fail to be nearly as dominant and good as Jones is.
    An opportunistic and intelligent use of elbows from the clinch, like in his first bout against Daniel Cormier and in his fight against Glover Teixeira is one of his trademarks and has definitely been one of his most effective weapons during his career so far.
    [​IMG]
    Jon Jones slicing up the against the cage standing Glover Teixeira with an elbow.

    Jones weapons in the clinch are of course not only his elbows which he often uses after controlling his opponents wrist on the same side; he's extremely good at continuously controlling opponents, pushing them down in the open to land knees, but against the fence he arguably shines even more, as the pushing his opponents against the fence removes their stance, making them unable to generate power in their strikes, since Jones posts his head against his opponent's, making them stand up straight, while Jones creates space beneath him and his opponent, enabling him to land both body shots with his hands, but also the bespoken knees - all the while Jones' opponents fail to land anything significant and exhaust themselves.
    Having talked about Jones' stand up, let's talk a bit about his wrestling.
    As almost everyone remotely interested in mixed martial arts nowadays is aware of, Jones is a fantastic wrestler, both offensively and defensively. It's hard to pinpoint something in particular about his wrestling, as he does superbly well in all areas, no matter if it's takedowns against the fence like here against Daniel Cormier:[​IMG] ...where his extremely long arms give him the advantage of having to cover less distance until he's around his opponents hips, takedowns out in the open, where Jones fluently transitions between striking and grappling, shooting a very fast double right after setting it up with punches or after he ducks under an opponents punches.
    His very intelligent striking, especially his kicking, which often forces his opponents to stand taller in order to check kicks better, only compliments his wrestling and when Jones lands the takedown, his opponents find themselves with Jones being ground an pounded by Jones very fast, which is probably even worse than being in the clinch with Jones, as he's both an expert on landing strikes on the ground while also being in control of the scenario all the time, making him a nightmare to be on the floor with.
    When it comes to submitting his opponents, the despite his lanky appearance as very strong known Jon Jones has proven to be an excellent fighter as well, with five of his UFC wins coming by submission, the first one against Jake O'Brien, the second one against Ryan Bader, another two against "Rampage" Jackson and Vitor Belfort and - his most famous win by submission - the guillotine choke with which he has submitted Lyoto Machida:
    [​IMG]
    After a failed takedown attempt, Lyoto Machida finds himself in a guillotine choke which he unsuccessfully tries to escape. Refusing to tap, Machida eventually goes unconscious and falls on the floor as Jones' lets him go after the Referee intervenes.

    Lastly, Jones almost never finds himself in dangerous positions on the ground, which is largely due to the fact that Jones is absurdly hard to take down - despite his very high level of opposition, he's defended 95% of all his opponents takedowns so far, against former olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier, he defended 10 of 11 combined takedown attempts in their bouts.

    To sum it up: Jon Jones is an extremely well-rounded mixed martial artist, but it's not like he's a perfect fighter technique-wise wherever the fight goes, although his technique is definitely something to behold at times, it's not the sole combination of well-roundedness and his physical gifts either; it's more so his incredible understanding of when to use certain techniques and how to apply them in a mma-specific context that makes him stand out as an exceptionally good and dominant fighter.

    - Dominick Reyes -
    The former college football stand out who made his UFC debut on june the 25th of 2017 against Joachim Christensen has gained traction fast in the UFC, finishing all of his first three (arguably four) opponents by either TKO or Submission, quickly gaining him the reputation of a dangerous, powerful striker and while he has somewhat struggled in a close decision win against fellow kickboxer Volkan Özdemir (despite outstriking him 44 to 35 significant strikes), he quickly has added another dominant win to his resume, in which he has finished the former middleweight champion Chris Weidman by KO.
    What is it though that makes Reyes such a formidable fighter, especially on the feet? In the following, we'll take a closer look at Dominick Reyes' skills, with an emphasis on his striking, but before that, i'll invite you to another short excursus on what are some signs of (very) good strikers.

    Short excursus: what is a (very) good striker anyway?
    Generally speaking, most people would agree with the notion that a good striker is a fighter who wins the vast majority of his fights by outstriking and/or finishing his opponents on the feet.
    Wrestlers like Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov tend to outstrike (and beat) many of their opponents on the feet as well, but then again this is to a not to be overlooked part due to their phenomenal wrestling, so when being asked what they would consider to be the best strikers in mixed martial arts, people mostly mention guys like Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva and Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, whose strongest asset is the striking which takes place on the feet.
    Occasionally, people also mention guys like Francis Ngannou, but since a large part of Ngannou's effectiveness on the feet is due to his power and not his technique, many feel inclined to leave him out of their lists, when it comes to the best strikers in MMA.
    To narrow it down, a fighter is mostly considered to be a very good striker, when he's able to beat most of his opponents on the feet without an over-reliance of physical gifts like power, endurance and chin/durability having to make up for deficiencies in technique.
    Therefore, when strikers win a fight, they usually outstrike their opponents (if it goes to a decision) or they finish them via KO or TKO.
    But what is the difference between Israel Adesanya finishing Robert Whittaker and Derrick Lewis finishing Alexander Volkov? After all, both fights have ended by KO, right?
    The difference is, that one of those finishes has come due to technical superiority, while the other one has come due to physical superiority, at least in terms of punching power.
    Israel Adesanya, while certainly having solid power, is far from being a power puncher like Derrick Lewis is, yet his accuracy enables him to be extremely effective with his strikes.
    Thus, accuracy is something which is almost always seen amongst the best strikers and while the stat significant striking accuracy shows the percentage of strikes that a fighter lands, it doesn't show how much a fighter might abandon his defense in order to do so, so it can be quite a misleading stat at times.
    Also, most pressure fighters also tend to have less accuracy than counter strikers, but they land more strikes over the course of the whole fight. So is there any stat at all, which at least somewhat accurately shows how good of a striker a fighter is?
    The short answer is no. The longer answer is still no, but only to an extent, as there are two stats which - especially when a fighters ranks high in both - are a good indicator of how good of a striker a certain fighter is.One of these stats is the number of knockdowns (in relation to the total fight time of a fighter, or if we're super nit-picky: in relation to the number of total strikes a fighter has thrown/landed).
    If the fighters who rank high in this stat are not necessarily known for having insane power, chances are that they're very accurate with their strikes.
    The other stat is the significant strike differential.
    There are ways to rack up a high percentage for striking defense without being a defensive genius and there a ways to get up to a high percentage in terms of accuracy without being an accurate striker, but there's hardly a way in which you get a high significant strike differential without being proficient in the craft that is striking and this is due to one simple reason: it takes into account two of the most important stats in striking; the number of landed strikes (per minute) and the number of absorbed strikes (per minute), to be more exact, it's the difference between landed and absorbed (significant) strikes. It's the stat's equivalent to "hit and don't get hit."
    With these stats in mind, let's look at a table for comparison with some of the best current strikers and those who're typically being mentioned when people are asked about the best strikers in mixed martial arts and of course, Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes:

    chart_good_strikers_done_.png

    Back to business, Dominick Reyes typically walks his opponents down, constantly looking to land on them and for the most part, being very successful in doing so, as he's very good at his shot selection, mixing it up really well and while he lands the third most strikes per minute amongst active light heavyweights, it's worth noting that he at no point gets reckless with his defense in order to land on his opponents and makes use of both good head and upper body movement in order to do so, which is why he's also the active light heavyweight with the third least significant strikes absorbed per minute.
    Away from numbers though, one of the things which becomes immediately apparent when watching Dominick Reyes fight, is that he's extremely fundamental.
    He pretty much never uses any kind of flashy strikes or techniques.
    Another thing which is typical for him is his frequent use of kicks; he throws a lot of them and he goes for all three targets: legs, body and the head.
    Given that he's a southpaw and mostly fights against orthodox fighters, it makes sense for his approach to be that kicking-heavy, as he has both body and head of his opponent as an open power-target for his rear leg, with which he's often found success, be it by landing crushing leg kicks like he did a couple of times against in his fight against Ovince St.Preux or by driving his shin right into the dome of his opponent, like he did here: [​IMG]
    As mentioned in the beginning already, Dominick Reyes, just like Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is a southpaw, and just like the croatian powerhouse, he also capitalizes on the southpaw double attack, which is frankly just a left cross followed by a left round kick or vice-versa.
    It's almost comically simple, but its effectiveness has been proven over and over again, to a huge part by Cro Cop alone.
    Basically, you're throwing one of these attacks, until the opponent forms the habit of reacting in a certain way to it, only for you to use the opponents habit against himself, making him eat either the punch or the kick as a result of anticipating the other and reacting accordingly.
    When throwing the left cross repeatedly, the opponent will either try to parry it, or lean to the outside in order to dodge it, which then makes him vulnerable to high kicks coming from the exact same side, but like i said, it works the other way around as well; throwing high kicks until the opponent automatically puts his arm up to the side of his head in anticipation of a high kick, only to absorb a powerful straight with the face.
    A detail worth noting is that Dominick Reyes is able to throw kicks without almost any wind up, which, coupled with his speed, makes it hard for his opponents to react in time and thus requires them to be constantly aware of that threat.

    Don't be fooled into thinking that Reyes is mainly a kicker though, in fact, he is just as good with his hands and while both his handspeed and his power are certainly good, what makes his boxing (and striking in general) stand out besides the selection of his shots itself, is his timing and accuracy; as a result of that, he has won three of his six bouts in the UFC by either KO or TKO, with his latest win coming by finish against former champion Chris Weidman, clocking the "All american" with a counter left cross, finishing the downed Weidman a few seconds later with a couple of hammerfists to the jaw.
    If you go back to watch his fight against St.Preux, you'll find that this decision win could've been ruled a KO as well, so Reyes really has proven to have tremendous accuracy in all these fights, with perfectly placed punches being the catalyst for what would shortly after end in a finish, with the exception of above mentioned fight, that is.
    [​IMG]
    "Precision beats power and timing beats speed" - As Chris Weidman extends his arm to land a right straight to Reyes head, Reyes steps slightlyto the left and just out of range, making Weidman's punch fall short while setting himself up to land a straight left right right to Chris Weidman's jaw, dropping him and thus enabling him to finish Weidman with the aforementioned hammerfists.

    Of course, it's not Reyes' accuracy alone which makes him so good in striking exchanges, as he needs to create and/or find those openings first.
    With great footwork and a fine understanding of angles as one of his main strengths, Reyes is able to do so often and with success; quite agile, especially laterally, Reyes displays fine footwork in his fights, often slipping punches while simultaneously stepping out on an angle to either reset himself or to punish his opponents from there.
    A great example of this besides the finish of Weidman, is the knockdown right at the end of his fight against Ovince St.Preux:
    [​IMG]
    Feeling like he has the cornered Reyes in a good position to unload on him, St.Preux steps in with a two punch combination while Reyes slips the first punch and rolls under the second one while escaping to the left and knocking OSP, who by now is completely out of position, down/out with a beautifully placed left hand.

    Once Reyes has noticably hurt an opponent, he'll not let his foot get off the gas pedal, continuously chasing said opponent down in order to not let him recover and eventually finish him. A rather known example of this happened during Reyes' fight against the former heavyweight and now middleweight contender Jared Cannonier:
    [​IMG]
    After making Cannonier miss a huge right hand, Reyes comes up to counter him with an upper cut, visibly stunning Cannonier. Reyes then proceeds to walk the hurt Cannonier down, constantly attacking him with both kicks and punches, eventually finishing him with another upper cut.

    [​IMG]
    Reyes backs the already rocked Joachim Christensen up against the cage and knocks him down with a left straight through the guard, eventually finishing him afterwards.

    Having talked about most areas in Reyes' stand up, the only thing we haven't talked about yet is his clinch. So far, Reyes has not been in the clinch very often nor very long, which is why it's hard to make a solid assessment on how good he really is there, but he did really well against St. Preux, landing quite a few elbows and punches to the head during OSP's attempts of taking Reyes down against the fence, being deep into the latters hips

    With all these things about Dominick Reyes' striking in mind, let's have a brief look at his grappling:
    As it is the case with most strikers, Reyes' grappling revolves mainly (but not exclusively!) around keeping the fight standing and while Chris Weidman was so far the only real wrestler to step in the cage against Reyes, Reyes has proven to be very capable when it comes to denying his opponents successful takedowns, stopping 21 of a total 25 takedown attempts during the tenure of his UFC career, which adds up to a takedown defense percentage of 84.1%, ranking him at place 4 amongst active light heavyweights in this regard.
    An interesting tactic in the area of Reyes' defensive grappling, is the so called "cheese grater" which is what Reyes and his team calls it, when an opponent has his grip around the hips of an against the cage pressed Reyes, while Reyes presses himself further into the netting wire of the cage, moving his body up and down, grinding the fingers of his opponents, eventually making them open their grip, thus losing control of a then released Dominick Reyes.
    As previously implied, Reyes' has shown to be comfortable on the ground, with his second win in the UFC coming by submission against Jeremy Kimball, who Reyes took down with a trip, quickly advancing in position on the ground and finally making Kimball tap to a rear naked choke which was tightly wrapped around his neck.

    To conclude it: Dominick Reyes might only be six fights into the UFC, but if we look at what he has shown so far, it's understandable why he has already made big waves: great striking, which in this case means proficiency in pretty much every area of the stand up department, be it timing and accuracy, shot selection, footwork and set-ups or power and speed, is what makes Dominick Reyes stand out in his division and contrary to many who're only good at one facet of this multi-faceted game that we call MMA, Reyes has proven to be a decent wrestler with a solid understanding of submission-grappling as well.

    somestatsamongstactivelightheavyweightsonlyifinsidetopten.png


    - The keys to victory: what have Jones and Reyes to do in order to win? -
    Jon Jones is a better wrestler than anyone Dominick Reyes has faced so far and while Jones most likely has the tools to take down Reyes, he has shown a much more striking-heavy approach in the latter stages of his career.
    Then again, Jones won't refuse the opportunity to take the fight down to the floor, should it present itself. Considering Reyes' very kicking-heavy game, it would make sense for Jon Jones to bait Dominick Reyes into kicking him into the body or the leg, so that Jones is able to catch Reyes' kick and take him down from there, both nullifying Reyes' greatest strength while simultaneously crowing with one of his own biggest strengths. That's of course not the only route to victory for Jones though; instead of the reactive takedown that's been mentioned before, Jones can opt for a proactive variant like a double leg out in the open as well, although it's probably not his best bet against someone like Reyes who has a good balance and is quite mobile, especially regarding his lateral movement.
    Another possibility for Jones to take Reyes down is of course against the fence; this has the upside for Jones that Reyes' mobility is compromised, making him far more calculable and it's also a great way for Jones to take advantage of his cardio, to force Reyes to exhaust himself and also to inflict damage, as Jones has done so often with his opponents against the cage.
    In order to get Reyes backed up against the cage though, Jones has to be wary when pressuring and trying to corner Reyes though, as he has proven to be a great counterpuncher who understands a thing or two about punishing opponents that felt too confident too early against a seemingly stalemated Reyes.
    In the stand up, Jones should not let Reyes get too close, as Reyes has got the speed and power advantage, which, coupled with his boxing is extremely dangerous for Jones to go up against, especially since Jones' is comparatively average when he's not able to use his range (or clinch) in striking exchanges and has shown a few bad habits (for example: leaning forward, instead of ducking/rolling under punches and not looking at his opponent when dodging punches) in that range defensively.
    Besides that, Jones should aim his teeps more towards the body instead of the knees of Reyes, as the latter is like mentioned very evasive, so it makes sense to go for a bigger target, as a missed oblique kick can leave Jones off balance, making him vulnerable.
    If Jones is should find himself in a situation where he's not able to regain a distance where he's comfortable at though, he should immediately go for the clinch, as he excels there and can make use of his wrestling from this position as well.
    Lastly, Jon Jones should make sure not too let Reyes land kicks on him too often as Reyes is a great kicker, both technique and power-wise, be it by checking those kicks or stepping out of their range just in time, as Jones has shown a vulnerability to low kicks at times, with Thiago Santos having made the most of this strategy so far.

    For Dominick Reyes to take the w, he should first and foremost be aware of his position and the space between him and the cage at all times, as Jones does some of his very best work there, be it by beating up his opponents in the clinch, picking them apart with mostly straight kicks and punches or by taking them down.
    Another priority of Reyes has to be to keep moving, with a big emphasis on lateral movement, not necessarily just because he does very well himself there, but also because Jones' furthest reaching and most devastating attacks depend to a large part on opponents moving into range in a straight line.
    This is the reason why Jones did obliterate "Rampage" Jackson, while struggling a lot with Alexander Gustafsson in their first bout. Like the aforementioned points it's also very important to not get passive when fighting Jones.
    As someone who's exceptional when it comes to picking opponents apart from distance, a passive opponent who waits for Jon to do a mistake (instead of trying to force him to do one) will wait very long and more importantly: lose the fight, since Jones thrives against opponents who're too timid.
    Instead, Reyes should keep his usual pace, or at least a comparable one but without exhausting himself, forcing Jones to work and to make mistakes.
    Having mentioned it earlier, Jones is relatively vulnerable to getting kicked in the leg, so Reyes should be taking advantage of that, targeting Jones' the whole fight, but he has to be careful, as Reyes wouldn't be the first opponent whose kick gets caught and who gets taken down as a result of it.
    Thus, Reyes should kick with lots of force, as Jones obviously will feel way more confident in reaching for a kick when there's not much power behind it.
    Since it's an orthodox vs southpaw match up, it additionally would make sense for the "Devastator" to make use of the southpaw double attack, which is mentioned in the beginning of this post, as it's quite effective at times, despite being almost laughably simple - after all, an opponent inside your range has react once you throw a strike at him.
    In order to avoid getting hit' by 1-2's once getting closer to Jones, Reyes should of course make use of his head movement, as Jones becomes increasingly dangerous the more he's able to put an opponent off his rhythm.
    Generally, but especially in closer ranges, Reyes should keep Jones' guessing with lots of feints and high-low combinations, like Gustafsson did successfully a couple of times in his first fight against Jones back in 2013, as feints are very useful in the whole, but particularly against a fighter like Jon Jones, who's known for recognizing patterns and adapting to them.
    In regards to Jones' wrestling, Dominick Reyes needs to be careful and focussed all the time, but this is practically a given - out in the open, the use of sideward movement might come in handy for Reyes, as double leg takedowns are much easier to land on opponents who move mostly back and forth.
    Last but not least, Reyes needs to take his chances once they present themselves and this is probably more true in the case of Jon Jones than it is against any other opponent; if Reyes lands a couple of shots on Jon, possibly stunning him, he can by no means allow the light heavyweight champion to recover, as those chances will be extremely rare.

    - Closing words -
    Jon Jones will be the big favourite against Dominick Reyes and rightfully so. Very rarely a fighter comes along which rules over a division for such a long time, let alone in a manner as dominant as the one Jon Jones has shown over the years. That being said, Dominick Reyes is a very dangerous striker and arguably the worst match up for Jones in a long time.
    Who do you have winning and why?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  2. Wizzlebiz Wizzlebiz is the Wizziest

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    Holy fuckballs.

    Il have to read this and get back to you once I'm done.

    Which will assuredly be well after the fight has taken place due to the novel you have put forth.

    I mean my God the thread has a table of contents.
     
  3. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    upload_2020-2-3_20-4-19.gif
    holy fuck let me get back to you on this
     
  4. Tomas Black Belt

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    Leave it to a Jon Jones Dominick Reyes thread for TS to somehow mention & downplay Conor McGregor

    The rent free express never ends apparently

    Also, way too long of a break down for a fight with a -500 underdog contender
     
  5. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    In my 10 years on this website this is definitely the longest thread I’ve ever seen
     
  6. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    Hey man, i'm admittedly not the biggest Conor fan, but the post should make it clear that i have him in rather high regards when it comes to his ability as a striker.

    EDIT: and in case you've missed it @Tomas one of the charts shows that Conor has the third best ratio of knockdowns per fight.
    The example of Khabib knocking Conor down was also precisely due to the fact that Conor is a better striker than Khabib (in order to show the massive influence that wrestling can have in the striking department.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  7. Wizzlebiz Wizzlebiz is the Wizziest

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    Arguably more text than some of the 40 and 50 page threads we have already hahaha
     
  8. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    He wrote like 9000 characters and literally all you read was “Conor” <LikeReally5>
     
  9. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    I don't blame you, haha!
    I promise i won't edit it in order to make it look like i'm some kind of clairvoyant when the fight is finished either!
    <{silvanormal}>
     
  10. Tomas Black Belt

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    Go to the top of the thread, and scroll down.

    Tell me what the first gif of the entire thread (about Jones vs Reyes) is.

    Spoiler: it's not Reyes or Jones
     
  11. Wizzlebiz Wizzlebiz is the Wizziest

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    Something I've NEVER wondered and now sadly know the answer to.

    Does Sherdog have a Character limit.
    grumpy-cat-no-memes.jpg
     
  12. BFoe Western States Heritage Champion Platinum Member

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    Is that when you stopped reading? After the first GIF?
     
  13. HI SCOTT NEWMAN ✔ This Cat had 167,454 Likes Received ✔

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    Fantastic breakdown brother, you put a great deal of effort and facts into this.

    I still think Reyes is too raw and it kinda had that Darren Till feel about it, where he didn't really beat any top guys and then got a title shot way too soon. If LHW was much better then I think it wouldn't have happened, but yet again UFC are rushing it. I need to see Reyes against more top LHW's to believe, he hasn't beat anyone in top 5. I think he needs to fight better guys and have more fights.

    They say Reyes is a great athlete, but thats only one small aspect of fighting, yeah it can help to be a good athlete, but you need many many many many things to beat Jones... what is Reyes chin like and his fight IQ?, and we need to see more of his TDD.. Jones has an epic chin and epic fight IQ, he has these 2 things in abundance, and if Reyes doesn't then he will get smashed I feel and Jones will coast.

    I won't be surprised if Reyes lands some shots but I think he will be shocked that it won't have a lot of effect like his other opponents, Jones has never ever been rocked or dropped, he has never even been stunned in over 25 fights, its amazing.. his chin is very good because there are fights where he was hit flush and he eats it with ease. That punch on Weidman would never drop Jones, I don't believe it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would be very surprised.

    Anyways I got Jones by dominating and coasting, but I hope Reyes can make it a fight and really test Jones.
     
  14. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    Guess i'm a patient writer of posts then haha.
    Funnily, i expected the post to be too short at one point in time - the text quickly added up though, lmao.
     
  15. Jew Jif Shoes Nullius in Verba

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    Good write up for an interesting fight. Smart money's on Jones, but Reyes has the tools and physical attributes to take home the belt. Will be looking forward to this one.
     
  16. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Huge props on putting together spreadsheets with actual data to back up your points. This thread is really well written and you should be proud.

    I agree with your points about wrestling having a big influence on striking, an even more recent example is blaydes vs JDS just the other night. It’s a very prevalent factor in fights and should not be overlooked.

    I agree with many of your points, especially for Doms gameplan. The difficult thing is more than any other fighter Jones has shown us he can adapt so much. We’ve seen him do basically everything you can do in an octagon. So we can play the “what can Dom do” game, at the end of the day we’ll find an example of jones beating that strategy. The terrifying thing for dom is he has to come in and adjust on the fly. I think the hardest thing against someone like jones is to stick to your style, which coincidentally is a lot of your keys to victory for Dom. So we’ll see what happens, but I don’t think it’ll be so simple as “do what you’re good at”

    awesome thread and great analysis buddy
     
  17. fishjello White Belt

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    My first thought was, your going to be missing some points, ultimately over simplifying the matter. My second thought: OK then :O
     
  18. BFoe Western States Heritage Champion Platinum Member

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    I think Reyes can get this done. He shouldn’t, because Jones is fantastic, and there’s definite holes in Reyes’ game. But this time, I think Jones gets clipped.
     
  19. Paulsp Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    I think Reyes is gonna bring the fight to jones and will force jones to turn up the heat a bit and beat his ass
     
  20. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    Thanks you man, really appreciate it!

    I see where you're coming from with the impression that Reyes' path might be a bit rushed and that he might be still a bit too green, but i really think that he's the worst matchup for Jones in a long time, since his defensive wrestling has looked really solid so far and his striking is quite wonderful in my eyes.
    (He's fast, powerful, but especially and i can't stress this enough accurate with his boxing and his kicking and he's really fine at creating angles with his footwork as well).
    As for Jones chin: yeah, it is what it is i guess, but you can have the best chin in the world, if a shot is really accurate, you're going down. Quite similar to how Whittaker was knocked down twice by Adesanya, or Conor's KO of Jose Aldo and many other examples.

    And regarding Jon's fight IQ: Yeah man, as mentioned in the post, i think that while Jones is super well-rounded, what really sets him apart from so many other dominant fighters is really how smart he is when it comes to how and when to use his tools inside the cage.
     

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