Dominick Reyes is still a few weeks out from his title fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, but he’s already worried about the illegal — if inadvertent — eye pokes that the champ is infamous for.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Reyes admitted the threat of eye pokes is something he’s thinking about, and that he intends to remind the referee ahead of time to be vigilant for this potential foul.
“It’s something where it is what it is. Not much I can do about it except give the referee an advanced “hey man, please look out for this, he’s notorious for this,” Reyes said. “It’s going to be hard for me to get in. I’m not going to run my face directly into fingers. It is what it is. It’s just another challenge that he presents.
“I think more than just the fingers being outstretched is that he stays busy with that lead hand,” Reyes continued. “I think that’s what keeps guys at bay, he paws with it and he paws exactly at his range. That’s been a gigantic weapon of his. It sets up the rest of his arsenal. It helps him find his range.”
“It’s a blatant rule break. You can’t do it. It’s in the rules,” Reyes concluded. “It’s been talked about many times. Either you’re going to do it or you’re not going to do it. It’s up to me on fight night to talk to the ref and make him aware.”
Dominick Reyes and Jon Jones will fight for gold in the main event of UFC 247, which goes down in Houston, Texas on February 8. Reyes will enter the fight with an undefeated record which he most recently extended with a vicious knockout victory over former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman.