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Dominick Reyes: ‘I look forward to the rematch’ against Jon Jones after beating him the first time

Dominick Reyes Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting

Dominick Reyes knows the daunting task ahead of him as he prepares to face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in February.

For all intents and purposes, Jones has never suffered a real loss during in his entire career with 10 total title defenses under his belt including wins over seven current or former UFC and Bellator champions. He’s been considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport for the majority of his reign as champion and a split decision in his most recent outing against Thiago Santos is the only time a judge has ever scored a fight in favor of his opponent.

Because of that gaudy list of accomplishments not to mention an awe-inspiring skill set that has redefined what it means to be a mixed martial artist, Jones is widely considered the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.

As Reyes prepares for all of that in anticipation their fight on Feb. 8, the undefeated light heavyweight contender understands that pulling off the upset against Jones will shock the world.

That’s why he’s already reconciled in his head that he’ll have to do it twice.

“Absolutely. I look forward to the rematch,” Reyes told MMA Fighting ahead of the announcement that he will face Jones in February. “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.”

Those might seem like lofty ambitions but Reyes has been eyeing this fight with Jones ever since he started his mixed martial arts career five years ago.

At that time, Reyes looked up to Jones as the kind of fighter he wanted to become one day but as the old saying goes—you work until your idols become your rivals—and that’s exactly what he faces on Feb. 8 in Houston, Texas.

“It’s almost like I designed this. Everything I said was going to happen, happened,” Reyes said. “Everything I planned has happened. I know exactly what I need to be successful and now I’m doing it.”

Reyes clearly exudes confidence heading into the fight with Jones but make no mistake, he knows this isn’t going to be an easy night at the office.

He’s pouring every ounce of himself into preparation to leave no stone unturned as he gets ready to face one of the best fighters to ever set foot inside the UFC Octagon.

Reyes can only hope Jones is giving him that same kind of respect.

“I’m definitely not the one you want to act cocky with,” Reyes said. “I mean I hope he doesn’t but if he does, sh*t, better for me.”

As much as the UFC title means to him, Reyes isn’t lost on the magnitude that comes along with handing Jones his first legitimate defeat.

Former Ultimate Fighter contender Matt Hamill technically holds a win over Jones via disqualification but the bludgeoning he took in the fight would probably tell anybody watching that he didn’t win anything besides a trip to the hospital that night.

To finally beat Jones and put a real blemish on his resume means as much to Reyes as the gold belt he plans on taking home afterwards.

“It’s Jon Jones. This is bigger than the title,” Reyes said. “Yes and no because the title’s big but not only winning the title but you’re beating arguably the best to ever do it. It’s huge. It’s f*cking huge.”

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