UFC 247: Jon Jones makes history as he retains light heavyweight title with controversial win over Dominick Reyes in Houston
Jon Jones retained his UFC light heavyweight title as he claimed a controversial unanimous decision victory against Dominick Reyes in Houston.
After a back-and-forth battle in which Reyes dominated the early exchanges before Jones exerted late control, it was Jones who was awarded the decision 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 on the scorecards.
The defeat was the first for 30-year-old Reyes in his 13th professional MMA outing, while 'Bones' picked up the 26th win of his gilded career and set a new UFC record of 14 title fight victories.
The result will not sit well with many after what turned into an epic battle between an up-and-coming pretender to the throne and long-time great.
Reyes stated his intent early, dropping Jones with a hard left in round one as the challenger came out fast and fearless.
'The Devastator' continued to unload kicks as Jones remained on the defensive, but the champion did connect with a right hand as the round drew to a close – although it wasn’t enough to prevent Reyes from taking the opening stanza.
Reyes continued to push the pace in the second, throwing more shots despite Jones beginning to find a home for his own jab and low leg kicks.
Round three was closer to call as Jones stemmed the threat slightly, but knew he had a massive task ahead of him in the championship rounds to keep hold of the title.
That task got more difficult as Reyes caught him early in round four, although Jones increasingly looked to his wrestling game to turn the tide as Reyes tired.
Reyes slowed but continued to show strong defense, despite Jones controlling the latter exchanges.
That was enough for Jones to get the decision on the cards, although many - not least Reyes - will feel the challenger had done enough to relinquish him of the title.
There will likely be calls for the pair to meet for a second time, as Reyes troubled Jones, 32, like few others before him.