JON Jones survived a giant scare from a gutsy Dominick Reyes to hack out a unanimous decision win and retain his light heavyweight title in UFC 247 on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Jones set a UFC record with his 14th victory in a title bout, but had to endure anxious moments against an aggressive Reyes who dictated the action in the first two rounds and kept the champion on the back foot.
Only a couple of takedowns in the final rounds enabled Reyes to convince the judges to give him the unpopular victory via scores of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46.
Jones improved to 26-1 with one no-contest and later paid tribute to Reyes.
"You have totally deserved my respect man," Jones said. "I think the difference in the fight was takedowns. I couldn't keep him down but at least I took him down ... I believe my takedowns are what won it."