Feb. 8 is shaping up to be a big day in the sports world for several reasons:
For one, Feb. 8 is right in the heart of conference play in college basketball, as teams around the country try to bolster their respective cases to the NCAA selection committee for this spring’s tournament.
Secondly, the weekend of Feb. 8 and 9 will mark the opening week of play in the new XFL, Vince McMahon’s second attempt at an upstart professional football league in the winter and early spring.
Third, and the reason why you’re reading this article, is this:
Feb. 8 marks the return of UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones (25-1, one no-contest) to the cage vs. No. 1 contender Dominick Reyes (12-0) to headline UFC 247 on ESPN+ pay-per-view from Houston’s Toyota Center.
It’s Jones’ third championship fight of his current reign.
Note: We will refrain on making a call for this championship fight at the current time.
How they got here:
Jon Jones has gone undefeated in his last five UFC fights (4-0, one no-contest). All of those five fights were headline fights in their respective cards.
Most recently, he defeated Thiago Santos by split decision in UFC 239’s main event on July 6.
Main event stalwart:
Dating back to Mar. 19, 2011 in UFC 128 against Shogun Rua, Jones has headlined every UFC event in which he has fought.
The last time that Jon Jones did not headline a UFC event was Feb. 5, 2011 in UFC 126.
That evening, he submitted Ryan Bader (second-round guillotine choke), less than 24 hours before the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, TX.
In the other corner, Dominick Reyes has posted a record of 5-0 in his last five UFC contests, most recently scoring a first-round knockout of Chris Weidman in the main attraction of UFC on ESPN2 (a.k.a., UFC on ESPN 6) in October from Boston.
A war of words:
Even though the fight is still two months away, the war of words has already begun, and folks, this war of words is better than the conflict between the Brady and DiMera families on NBC’s daytime soap Days of Our Lives.
In recent days, Dominick Reyes has publicly stated that he’s already looking forward to a rematch vs. Jon Jones in Arlington, TX, telling MMAFighting.com:
“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.”
Tito Ortiz, who has a main event fight of his own this Saturday night against Alberto Del Rio on pay-per-view in Combate Americas, weighed in on the Jones fight, simply telling MMAJunkie:
“I think I can beat Jon Jones. I think I have a good chance—I really do think I’ve got a good chance.”
The only thing left to say is stay tuned. The hype will only grow and swell from here.
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