Jon Delos Reyes on flyweight debut at UFC Japan: “Expect a more polished and mature fighter”

UFC's Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN
UFC’s Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN

Filipino-American UFC fighter Jone “The Heat” Delos (7-3) Reyes makes his second Octagon appearance next month, September 20, 2014 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan for UFC Fight Night – Nelson vs. Hunt against one of Japan’s hottest prospects in Kyoji Horiguchi (13-1).


Delos Reyes, or better known as JDR by his friends, is a finisher. All of his seven wins were either TKO or submission. He has tremendous power behind his punches and sneaky jiu-jitsu.

The 27-year old fighter made his first UFC appearance in January when he faced Dustin Kimura at UFC Fight Night – Saffiedine vs. Lim in Singapore.

“The Heat” was aggressive and effective in the striking department in the early minutes of the fight, rocking his Hawaiian counterpart with couple of solid blows. But Delos Reyes got careless while he was inside Kimura’s guard and was caught by a deep armbar that made him tap at the 2:13 mark of the opening round,

“The UFC jitters are for real. I felt that I got him with some good clean shots and then decided to try to finish him. Dustin is a very technical fighter.”

After his disappointing loss against Kimura, JDR was originally scheduled to fight Richie Vaculik last June for UFC Fight Night in New Zealand. Unluckily, JDR was forced to withdraw from the fight after sustaining a shoulder and elbow injury in training.

After almost two months of healing and waiting, the time has finally arrived for JDR’s UFC comeback as he is set to face Japanese Flyweight sensation Horiguchi, a fighter who is 2-0 in the UFC.

Facing Horiguchi for his second UFC fight is huge for JDR’s career as he is going to fight for the first time at the 125-pound limit and he looks to prove that he is one of the best fighters to look out for in the ultra-competitive flyweight division,

“This will be my toughest test to date. I know Horiguchi is a very tough and skillful fighter. He has great striking and is very aggressive.  I’ve been honing my BJJ and No-gi grappling with my coach Sonny Nohara at SoNo BJJ. I also began my camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. I flew to Guam a few weeks before the fight to join my long time striking coach Sonny Chargualaf, as he will fly with me to Tokyo.”

JDR has been working tirelessly on firming his ground game to become a much more dangerous fighter inside the Octagon. Despite of hurdles in his journey, he remains positive and determined to reach his goal one day of becoming a UFC champion,

“I am working on all aspects of MMA. I’m still young in this sport; I have yet to reach my prime.With an ever evolving playing field, I feel that it is very important to constantly improve and evolve as a martial artist.

The Buffalo Wild Wings cook is no stranger in competing in Japan as he has been there several times in the past. But he knows that his next fight is going to be way different from a jiu-jitsu competition. He will be fighting the home town hero in Horiguchi for his second UFC fight, which motivates him even more to train harder in the gym,

“I’ve done a few IBJJF tournaments in Japan before. Coming from a small island in the Pacific (Guam), all of my major fights have been in my opponents’ backyards. So it’s not new to me at all. Come fight night, It’s just going to be me and Horiguchi in the cage. With God permitting, I plan on having my hand raised with the Japanese fans cheering for me at the end of the night.”

JDR’s decision on dropping to flyweight is probably one of the best decisions he has ever made. He will be more powerful and explosive in his new weight class. He promises that the fans will see a much different Delos Reyes next month on September 20th in Japan,

“You can expect a more polished and mature fighter. Although I’m coming down a weight class, I feel that I am finally growing into my frame and will be a lot stronger physically than ever before. My mental game has vastly improved as well. I now know what to expect and how to control the jitters. This will be the best version of Jon “The Heat” Delos Reyes thus far.”