In terms of main events, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has knocked out of the park to begin their 2020 pay-per-view season. After Conor McGregor reaffirmed his spot in MMA's elite at UFC 246, and light heavyweight champ Jon Jones was put through one of his toughest tests of his career against an inspired Dominick Reyes Saturday night at UFC 247. The fight was entertaining, it was dramatic, and in the end, it was Jones' ability to thrive under pressure that showed why he is such a dominant and enduring champion.
Unfortunately, that has not been the prevailing narrative on the fight to this point, and it's a shame that an excellent showdown was ruined by highly questionable scoring from the judges. Ignore the fact that Jon Jones won by unanimous decision; one of the three judges awarding Jones four out of the five rounds is crazy. Reyes was visibly upset about the decision after Bruce Buffer read out his fate. In fact, plenty of observers thought Reyes deserved to win.
But just because he took the L doesn't automatically mean he was robbed.
What fight fans must be careful of s overreacting to a controversial decision in a close fight, as well as using terminology that doesn't properly describe how Jon Jones won. Let's set something straight: Dominick Reyes was not "robbed." For that to be true, he would need to have been a clear winner to any impartial observer, only to have the 205-pound title snatched out of his grasp be evil, evil judges.
There's not just an argument for Jones winning the fight -- there's a pretty good But considering how narrow the margin ended up being between these two, there can be no declaration of robbery either way. Sometimes, you just end up with a close fight that's hard as hell to judge.
This is not discrediting the effort Dominick Reyes put in even one bit. In fact, I would praise Reyes for even forcing us to discuss the result of the fight in such a way, because men simply don't go toe-to-toe with Jon Jones like this.
However, to suggest that the takeaway here is that he had a win stolen from him rather than to keep our focus on the ridiculous 49-46 scorecard that only awarded Reyes one of the five rounds would be wrong. Let's be clear about what fight fans ought to be mad about here.
Did Dominick Reyes perhaps deserve at least one of the three judges to score it 48-47 in his favor? Sure, that might just be beyond debate. But it's misguided when fight fans use the term "robbery" to describe a fight that really could have gone either way. These guys fought each other to a standstill -- perhaps the best medicine is a good ol' rematch.