5 fighters who went on a losing spree after fighting Jon Jones

UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs Prochazka
UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs Prochazka
Sai Krishna
Modified 03 May 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The main event of UFC Vegas 25 saw the exciting Jiri Prochazka record a brutal knockout win over the third-ranked Dominick Reyes in the light heavyweight division.

Reyes, now on a three-fight losing skid, looks like a shadow of the fighter who surged up the UFC light heavyweight rankings with a plethora of eye-catching knockouts. Things have gone distinctly downhill for the 31-year-old since his decision loss to one of the greatest of all time, Jon Jones, at UFC 247.

On that note, let's take a look at five fighters who went on a losing spree after fighting Jon Jones.

#5 Stephan Bonnar - lost to Jon Jones at UFC 94

Stephan Bonnar
Stephan Bonnar

Stephan Bonnar was a UFC veteran when he took on rising prospect Jon Jones, who was entering only his second fight in the promotion. The then 21-year-old had impressed on his UFC debut against Andre Gusmao, while Bonnar had notched up two wins since his infamous loss to Forrest Griffin.

Jones pulled off a number of highlight-worthy moves against Bonnar, showing off his wrestling pedigree and creative striking. Although he appeared to tire in the final round, 'Bones' clinched a fairly comfortable decision victory.

Unfortunately for Bonnar, the clash against Jon Jones was followed by two losses on the trot. Mark Coleman registered a decision win over 'The American Psycho' before an unfortunate clash of heads brought about a TKO win for Bonnar's next opponent, Krzysztof Soszynski.

Bonnar exacted revenge over Soszynski to snap his losing streak and went 2-2 in his final four MMA fights before he transitioned to the world of pro wrestling.

#4 Ovince Saint Preux - lost to Jon Jones at UFC 197

UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs Hill
UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs Hill

Returning to the Octagon after over a year away, Jon Jones took on the sixth-ranked Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight championship at UFC 197. Jones hadn't fought since his decision victory over Daniel Cormier, with a hit-and-run conviction forcing the UFC to strip him of his title.

Jones exhibited clear signs of ring rust against OSP, who was never in the fight despite his opponent being nowhere near his best; Jones eventually won via unanimous decision.

Saint Preux suffered the first knockout loss of his UFC career in his next fight against Jimi Manuwa. 'Poster Boy' landed a brutal combination flush on OSP, who crumpled to the canvas in the second round.

Saint Preux lost his next fight as well, against Volkan Oezdemir. But this one was a controversial split decision, with the general consensus that the American had done enough to be ahead on the scorecards.

Saint Preux will be seen in action against Maxim Grishin in June.

#3 Alexander Gustafsson - lost to Jon Jones (for the second time) at UFC 232

UFC 232 Jones v Gustafsson 2
UFC 232 Jones v Gustafsson 2

Five years after their initial meeting, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson faced off in a highly anticipated rematch. The first clash at UFC 165 saw the Swedish fighter push Jones to the limit before finishing on the wrong side of a unanimous decision loss in one of the greatest fights in MMA history.

But in the second meeting, which was for the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship, Jones left no stone unturned. Coming off a suspension, he eased to a comfortable third-round TKO victory.

'The Mauler' never recovered from his third defeat in a championship fight. He was submitted by Anthony 'Lionheart' Smith at UFC Fight Night 153 in June 2019, before moving up to heavyweight and meeting the same fate at the hands of Fabricio Werdum in July 2020.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Gustafsson.

#2 Thiago Santos - lost to Jon Jones at UFC 239

UFC 259: Santos v Rakic
UFC 259: Santos v Rakic

UFC 239 saw Jon Jones defend his light heavyweight title against rising contender Thiago Santos, who was on a four-fight win streak at the time.

'Marreta' started the fight well and took the first round. But he damaged a number of ligaments in his knee while throwing a kick in the second round, and 'Bones' limped to an unconvincing split decision victory.

Since then, Santos has struggled in the UFC. He was repeatedly taken down before being submitted by Glover Teixeira in November 2020, and followed it up with a loss to Aleksandar Rakic in a lackluster fight at UFC 259 in March this year.

Injuries have taken their toll on Santos, who appears to be well past his prime. The 37-year-old might not have too many fights left at the top level.

#1 Dominick Reyes - lost to Jon Jones at UFC 247

UFC 247: Jon Jones v Dominick Reyes
UFC 247: Jon Jones v Dominick Reyes

The most recent instance of a fighter seeing his career nosedive after fighting Jon Jones, Dominick Reyes has now lost three in a row in the UFC's light heavyweight division.

Jones and Reyes went the distance at UFC 247, with the champion holding on to his title in a highly controversial unanimous decision win. Many believed that 'The Devastator', who had suffered the first loss of his professional MMA career, had done enough to dethrone Jones, with UFC president Dana White even claiming that he thought Reyes won the fight.

Reyes got another crack at the light heavyweight title once Jones vacated it, but suffered a tough knockout loss to current champion Jan Blachowicz. Even then, he was still among the top contenders in the division, and was booked to fight entertaining rising star Jiri Prochazka this weekend.

As we all know, Reyes ended up on the receiving end of a vicious spinning back elbow that extended his losing skid to three fights. The 31-year-old has a lot of work to do if he is to climb back up the rankings.

Published 03 May 2021
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