Reyes vs Blachowicz UFC 253
As the former UFC light heavyweight champion makes his move up to heavyweight. Top contender Dominick Reyes will now face off against Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title. So with his legacy at 205 lbs most likely in the rearview mirror. Let’s take a look at the former champion and the two men now contesting his championship.
Let’s be honest here, while Jon Jones may be one of the greatest fighters the sport has known. With what he has been able to achieve inside the UFC octagon, his place on the Mount Rushmore of MMA fighters looks all but assured. With an unparalleled reign in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Jones was able to control its ebb and flow for the best part of a decade.
Even when not holding the title, his shadow still loomed large. And as the newly crowned champion Daniel Cormier continued to prove he was the best active fighter in the world at 205 lbs. A suspended Bones was always there to remind him that he had never been beaten. A fact which no doubt irked the ultra-competitive DC, regardless of what he might say in public.
Jon Jones Public vs Private Persona
But for many fans and even some fellow fighters, Jones has been a divisive and untrustworthy individual. With his well-documented litany of lies and half-truths. Many feel they still don’t quite know who he is the real Jon Jones?
From his infamous hit and run, to the outright denial of ever having used performance-enhancing drugs. His heartfelt stroll in the park with journalist Ariel Helwani, gushing with sincerity and promises to never ever do it again. How did all that work out?
Where many fighters have their loud, arrogant or outspoken public persona, it could be said that the opposite was true of Jon. Who on camera at least purported to be this well-spoken out and out decent guy. But, when the cameras were turned off. It was the rumours about his antics out of the public eye which helped to fuel the Jekyll and Hyde persona we have come to know today.
But putting all of his infractions and imperfections to one side for a moment. Jones domination no doubt stunted the development of almost every other fighter in his division. As one after another, each opponent failed in their task. Unable to conquer the mountain and secure their own place in light heavyweight history.
It would take the all-time great to willingly step away and lay his title down for others to pursue. Offering them up any chance of ever fulfilling their dreams.
Reyes Eyes Blachowicz For The Title
And now it’s time for “the guy” who some thought did enough to get the win when he and Jones faced off at UFC 247. As Dominick Reyes will face fellow top light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz for the now vacant title. But for me, it feels a matchup of guys who needed Jones to walk away for them to have a chance.
As regardless of whether you think Reyes won or not in his challenge, he didn’t! That night in February 2020, he walked away on the losing end of five round decision. And if you are going to beat one of the longest-reigning champions in UFC history. You must do so decisively!(shout out to Mightymouse).
And in Blachowicz we have the guy, that lost to the guy who tested JJ. Who then went on to fight two middleweight turned light heavyweight fighters. Followed by a guy who was not even ranked in the top fifteen of the division. And now finds himself in the running to be the UFC light heavyweight champion of the world? I’m not buying it.
If you stick on your neutral tinfoil hat for one moment and consider the following question. Could Jan Blachowicz beat Jon Jones, I’ll add on a bad day? And while Reyes did come within a whisker, there’s still no cigar. In the end just the same result as all those before. With not one person ever able to pry away the title from Jon’s rock-solid grip.
Reyes vs Blachowicz feels like a battle of the runners up. The guys who couldn’t quite cut it, praising the Lord above for Bones having finally had enough. Discarding the belt like a well-worn accessory for which he had no further use. And now it’s the task of those who are left behind to pick up the remaining pieces and prove their worth.
What will the 205 lb division look like without its talisman? And will any other be able to step forward and fill the huge void? We get at least a taste of those answers this weekend at UFC 253.