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Dominick Reyes: Jon Jones should face ‘repercussions’ after latest arrest but ‘I want to be the one to serve him justice’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dominick Reyes vividly remembers the morning he first heard about Jon Jones being arrested for DWI and negligent use of a firearm.

“I was like ‘no f*cking way,” Reyes told MMA Fighting. “We’re in quarantine. How? I saw the official reports and I was like this is crazy.”

Reyes battled Jones to a hard fought decision back in January and while he left UFC 247 without the light heavyweight title, many believed he should have become the new champion that night.

Prior to the event, Reyes was very candid with his feelings towards Jones and the myriad of problems he’s faced outside the cage, which previously included another DWI as well as an arrest for a hit-and-run accident back in 2015. In fact, Reyes wondered if Jones’ behavior would ultimately cost him the chance to fight for the belt in the first place.

“For me, [this latest arrest] was like are you kidding me? And then it was relief that he didn’t do that before our fight,” Reyes said. “He made it to the fight. That was actually a big concern. I stated that before the fight. My concern is that he makes it to the fight because at the time, I think I called him a liability.

“It’s the same crap. Same story, different day. Jon just being Jon. Can’t get out of his own way. It’s not a good look for him as himself but being a champion of the sport, it’s also not a good look because you’re going to have people think you can do the wrong things and still be OK.”

Following the back-and-forth title fight earlier this year, the UFC had already started moving towards a rematch between Jones and Reyes. While no deals were signed, Reyes says early discussions had started with plans to face Jones for a second time in the latter half of 2020.

While Jones already settled this latest arrest with a plea bargain deal that saw him avoid any jail time, the UFC still retains the right to punish him under their athlete code of conduct policy.

Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight title following the hit-and-run accident but he jumped right back into a championship fight as soon as he returned to action. This time around, Reyes believes Jones probably deserves a similar punishment but he also wants nothing more than to avenge his loss inside the Octagon.

“That’s really my only concern,” Reyes said about landing the Jones’ rematch. “All the other stuff, honestly as [the] general public, not as a fighter, he should probably be stripped. Because you can’t go around doing those things and have no repercussions.

“As a fighter and as the guy who wants to fight him, I want to be the one to serve him justice. That’s where I am with that. I want to fight him. Just as a sports fan, somebody that’s looking at doing something, there should be repercussions for your actions. As a fighter, I want to beat him up.”

While other contenders like Thiago Santos have called for Jones to be stripped and a new champion crowned, Reyes has slightly different motivations.

Because he came so close to beating Jones back in February, Reyes wants to take the title from the man who beat him rather than fight for a vacant belt.

“It’s mine and [Jones] has it right now,” Reyes said.

Still, Reyes is never going to turn down an opportunity to fight for gold and if the UFC comes calling with an opportunity, he’s going to answer.

“If there’s shiny gold at the end of the tunnel, I’m there,” Reyes said. “I don’t care who it is.”

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