Last week, I wrote that the muted build-up to UFC 247 possessed eerie similarities to the UFC 227 fight week two years ago, which culminated in Henry Cejudo upsetting then pound-for-pound king Demetrius Johnson and usurping the flyweight title. On Saturday night, as the dust settled after the Jon Jones-Dominick Reyes 205-pound title fight, I felt like my warning call been vindicated.
Reyes outstruck Jones over the course of the five-round affair, appearing to take rounds one, two and three before Jones mounted a late comeback in the championship stanzas. Of the numerous online polls and score-aggregators that were taken after the event, a handy majority of fans and media gave it to “The Devastator” three rounds to two, and as the minutes stretched between the final bell and the announcement of the official verdict, the prevailing mood was that we’d just witnessed a historic upset.
Then Bruce Buffer got on the microphone, and announced the unanimous decision in Jones’ favour, with one judge — the manifestly incompetent Joe Solis — submitting an outlandish scorecard that had the champion winning a landslide 49-46. The Toyota Centre swelled with disaffected fans, who booed mercilessly as the belt was wrapped around Jones’ waist to mark his 14th official title victory. Reyes and his team just stood there dumbfounded, shaking their heads in disbelief.
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