Reyes (12-1) suffered the first defeat of his career earlier this year, as he dropped a controversial decision to Jones in a 205-pound title bid in February. Many people scored the fight for Reyes, and the Californian says the UFC has already discussed booking a rematch in the fall.
“Yes, we were talking early fall,” Reyes told ESPN. “We started moving along, moving along, and then [COVID-19]. And that was it.”
The UFC was forced to postpone three events between March 21 and April 11. The promotion is still trying to salvage a pay-per-view event on April 18, although an official location has not been determined. One of the headliners, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, has indicated he likely won’t compete due to travel restrictions out of his native Russia.
Despite the uncertainty of the UFC’s schedule — and recent legal issues for Jones, who pleaded guilty to an aggravated DWI charge last month — Reyes believes the rematch will be his next fight.
“What I did in our fight, what happened, it was a big event,” Reyes said. “A lot of people talked about it for a long time. They’re still talking about it. I think not just myself, but the people kind of feel cheated with that fight. They want to see it again, see me perform like I did once again. A lot of people think that belt is mine. I agree. So let’s get it.”
As part of the plea deal Jones accepted in his home state of New Mexico, the 32-year-old must serve 96 hours of house arrest and take part in a 90-day outpatient treatment program. Jones also pleaded guilty to DWI charges in 2012, and he was involved in a 2015 felony hit-and-run incident in which a pregnant woman received minor injuries.
At this time, the UFC has not made a statement on whether it will take disciplinary action against Jones.
“Personally, I hope he doesn’t get suspended, because I really need to rematch him for myself,” Reyes said. “I’ve always respected Jon as a fighter. I’ve always respected him in the Octagon, but outside the Octagon, it’s the same crap he’s been doing before that disappointed me when I was a fan of him.
“I was a fan of him, he did that and it disappointed me and made me not a fan, when he hit that pregnant lady. Now he’s doing the same thing.”