UFC 247 Press Call Recap

UFC News

Where the women who will share the Octagon in the co-main event shared comparable stories discussing their route to Houston’s Toyota Center, the messaging coming from UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on Monday’s call was clear: this is a big deal and something new for challenger Dominick Reyes, but old hat for me.

“My opponent can say that he’s comfortable and not nervous, make people believe whatever, but I know deep down inside, he has to be; absolutely,” Jones responded when asked if his experience in championship fights and main events gave him a distinct edge over Reyes on Saturday night. “Not only is he fighting in the main event, he’s getting more attention than he ever has before, everybody is rooting for him back at home, and that causes tons of pressure.

“But I started doing this when I was a kid; I’ve been doing this since I was 20 years old,” continued Jones, who first claimed the UFC light heavyweight title at age 23 and has largely remained at the top of the division ever since. “For me, it truly is another day at the office. I don’t believe any fight is a big fight — it’s just another fight — but for my opponent, this is a very big fight.”

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After spending the initial build-up to this contest poking at Jones through social media and during their initial press conference meeting several months ago, Reyes was decidedly low key on Monday afternoon, offering short, concise answers that highlighted his approach of keeping everything in perspective as he readies to challenge for championship gold this weekend.

“I just take every day as it comes, man,” said Reyes when asked about the increased attention and obligations that come with being in a fight of this magnitude. “You could worry about it and all those things, but it’s one thing at a time; one step at a time. We used to say when I was in college, ‘When the road ahead seems daunting, take a breath and focus on the next step’ and right now, I’m on this call.”

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