MMA Rumors: Jones/Reyes II and Pena/Pimblett

MMA Rumors
NORFOLK, VA - FEBRUARY 29: (L-R) Luis Pena reacts after defeating Steve Garcia in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Here is the third edition of MMA Rumors, your daily report and source on the unconfirmed reports with unconfirmed sources. Today’s MMA rumors feature UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and ranked #1 Light Heavyweight contender, Dominick Reyes, as well as UFC Lightweight Luis Pena and Cage Warriors fighter Paddy Pimblett.

MMA Rumors

The Rematch: Jones/Reyes II

At UFC 247, Jon Jones defeated contender Dominick Reyes to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Belt. The decision victory was unanimous among the judges but not the media or fans. Indeed, UFC 247’s judging would be controversial for many decisions, not just the headliner.

Despite that, it seemed the UFC might have been pushing for Jan Błachowicz, fresh off his KO victory over Corey Anderson, to be the next challenger for Jones. But there are reports that the UFC is trying to put together a Jones/Reyes rematch.

If true, this would make Reyes the sixth fighter planned for an upcoming UFC title shot coming off of a loss. He joins the ranks of Max Holloway, Daniel Cormier, Joseph Benavidez, and Jose Aldo, who are challenging or presumed to be the next challengers for the featherweight, heavyweight, flyweight, and bantamweight belts, as well as Yoel Romero who unsuccessfully challenged Israel Adesanya for the middleweight strap.

Likelihood

Many fans were already clamoring for Reyes to get the rematch ahead of Błachowicz. Some perceived Reyes’s close decision loss as more meaningful than Błachowicz’s KO. For Reyes, it gives a chance to prove that his performance was no fluke. For Jones, it allows him a chance to re-establish his feared reputation after two close fights with Reyes and Thiago Santos. Considering how willing the UFC is to book instant rematches as of late, while Jones/Reyes II is not confirmed it is certainly a highly probable outcome.

“Violent Bob Ross” versus “Paddy The Baddy”

Luis Pena is fresh off his latest victory over Steve Garcia on UFC on ESPN+ 27 but is seemingly already on the hunt for his next opponent. A fan suggested Cage Warriors fighter Paddy Pimblett. Pena seemed very open to the idea, offering to fight Pimblett in Liverpool – on one condition:

Likelihood

Cage Warriors has proven one of the most fertile grounds for the UFC to harvest stars from. Gegard Mousasi, Michael Bisping and Conor McGregor all fought in the UK promotion. Pena, who is famous for his height and reach would be a tough challenge for a UFC debut. However, many would take that risk in order to secure a UFC debut at all. Regardless, all may depend on how Pimblett’s stock looks after his next fight on March 20th at Cage Warriors 113 against Donovan Desmae.

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