Trevin Jones scored what was arguably the biggest come-from-behind victory of 2020, but his finish of Timur Valiev is not without its critics.
Jones (13-6) made his UFC debut on less than 72-hours notice at UFC Vegas 7. It started off poorly for Jones as Valiev (16-3) landed with a body kick that had Jones keeled over. Valiev unloaded with strikes to the head and body for much of round one as Jones did his best to get his legs underneath him. Taliev out-landed Jones 53-8 in first round significant strikes.
Jones roared back to life in the second, dropping Taliev and following up with ground-and-pound for a quick referee stoppage. Some argue referee Chris Tognoni did not give both fighters an equal opportunity to recover.
"He went out two, three times, for sure. I saw his eyes," Jones told Fightful. "There was a moment when I even stopped hitting a little bit because I thought the referee was already going to fly in and I woke him up two, three times also. There is a difference between a body shot and a headshot. A headshot, he blinked out so he doesn't know what's going on. He's a warrior. He knew he was fighting before that so the body is going to do what the body knows. Which was still coming up and stuff. If you look at the fight, the ref still stopped me from punching him a lot more. My hands were in the air by the time he was coming up."
"You're saying it was stopped early? You guys are not the referee. You guys haven't been in a fight. You guys never felt a headshot and how it feels to recover. The referee has knowledge of guys taking headshots and how quickly they recover and how aggressive the guy is on them," he continued. "Yeah, he got a nice body shot on me but I was fully in there. I was just trying to protect my body. I was still rolling the punches. I was still trying to move. Every time the referee said 'fight back' to me, I circled out every single time."
Jones thinks people are just mad he ruined their parlay wagers.
"People had a lot of money on him and I busted their parlay. They're just mad that I busted their parlay... It's part of the game. You guys have to give respect where respect is due. I still respect my opponent, he is a talented fighter," Jones shared. "It was the first fight of the night. People thought it was the guarantee. And then the first fight of the night they're like, 'My money's gone!' I wish I put some money down."
Jones also touched on his skateboarding background.
"Yes, man. I was very good at skating. I won my very first skating competition in Guam. I was very good at skating. I still can skate," he revealed. "We're talking 12-stair gapping, handrails. We're talking frontside flip six stairs, we're talking very decent amateur, good skater... When I was on my skating streak it was the same process as jiu-jitsu. It took time and I was a very fast learner. I was very good at skating. I'd say maybe a purple belt or brown belt."
UFC Vegas 7 took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 22. The card was headlined by Frankie Edgar and Pedro Munhoz.