Dominick Reyes Has Impressive Sports Talent Beyond UFC

Dominick Reyes

Getty Dominick Reyes (R) stares down Ovince Saint Preux in their light heavyweight bout during UFC 229.

On Feb. 8, Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes will enter the Octagon for the fight of his career. The man who will stand across the cage from him will be the UFC light heavyweight champion and one of the greatest fighters of all time, Jon “Bones” Jones. In the main event of UFC 247, these two men will meet in the middle to determine who is the baddest light heavyweight in the world.

Dominick Reyes has only been in the UFC for three years, but in that short amount of time, he has established himself as the #4 ranked fighter in the division, and a worthy challenger to the man known as Bones.

UFC 247 takes place February 8 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. It will air as a pay-per-view on ESPN+.

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Here are five facts you need to know about The Devastator:

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The Devastator Is Undefeated in His Professional MMA Career

The 30-year-old fighter has amassed a professional record of 12-0 in a career that has spanned just over six years to date. Reyes has earned seven of his wins by KO or TKO, two by submission and three by decision.

He fought for the first time in UFC when he competed against Joachim Christensen at UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee on June 25, 2017, and his debut in the promotion was nothing short of impressive. He dispatched Christensen within the first 30 seconds of the bout, winning by TKO and taking home a Performance of the Night check.

The Devastator has fought five times since then, garnering a UFC record of 6-0 and notable wins over Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux and Volkan Oezdemir. Reyes’ last win, however, catapulted him to a title shot as it was over a highly respected former champion.

Reyes Knocked Out a Former UFC Champion in His Last Fight

In his last bout, The Devastator took on former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman during UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Weidman. This fight marked Weidman’s debut in the light heavyweight division as he moved up from the weight class he once ruled. But the former champ wasn’t given an easy outing for his first bout in the new division.

Reyes defeated Weidman within the first two minutes of the opening round. The Devastator cracked him with a right hand, which dropped Weidman. Reyes capitalized on the knockdown by pressuring Weidman, who was on his back, and he ultimately caught his opponent with another right, knocking him out.

This win over Weidman granted Reyes the title shot against Jones.

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Before Making It Into the UFC, The Devastator Scored a Knockout That Went Viral

Reyes has scored seven finishes by either KO or TKO in his career, and one of these gave him a bit of notoriety before he ever entered the Octagon.

In his last match before his UFC debut, he fought Jordan Powell at Legacy Fighting Alliance 13, only three weeks before the Christensen bout.

He ended the fight against Powell within the first minute of the bout with a brutal head kick knockout. A video of the knockout was shared around various media platforms for two reasons.

The first reason was because of how devastating the kick was, and the second reason was because it seemed like Powell was showboating a second before Reyes’ shin met his face.

Here is a video from AXS TV Wrestling showing The Devastator’s fight against Powell and the savage kick:

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Reyes Has a Lot of Experience Participating in Sports Other Than Fighting, and He Believes He Is More Athletic Than Jones

In December of 2019, The Devastator appeared on an episode of Food Truck Diaries. The host, former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub, interviewed Reyes about multiple topics, including his athletic background.

During the conversation, Reyes told Schaub, “I have baseball in my blood. I’ve got football, wrestling, like all sports, track and field. I did everything, and I was really good at it. I was a captain, CIF champion, and all those things.”

The Devastator played defensive back and was the captain of the college football team Stony Brook Seawolves.

Reyes continued, “There’s not many guys that grew up from that upbringing where it’s constant dedication, constant hard work, constant respect and honor, and all those things my whole life. So, I was kind of bred for [MMA].”

Reyes believes that his experience in different sports has helped prepare him for a successful career in MMA and that his athleticism is superior to a lot of fighters, including his opponent at UFC 247, Bones.

“I’m actually more athletic than pretty much all these guys. I was watching Jon [Jones], and I was like, he’s a great athlete, but he’s not a true athlete,” Reyes continued. “He’s a different kind of athlete. I’m not saying he’s not a good athlete. He’s a great athlete. It’s just that he’s a different kind of athlete. I’m a different kind of athlete; I’m a traditional American athlete.”

Reyes told Schaub that he believes Jones is a solid MMA athlete, but the champ isn’t the all-around athlete that Reyes is.

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The Devastator Is Currently a Massive Underdog Going Into His UFC 247 Bout Against Jon Jones

Reyes will be in for the fight of his life on Feb. 8 against the UFC light heavyweight champion, and the current odds reflect that. At the time of this writing, BetDSI has Reyes as a +328 underdog and Jones as a -417 favorite. 5Dimes rates The Devastator as a +335 underdog and Bones as a -420 favorite.

Many fans and analysts rate Jones as the greatest fighter of all time, and he is ranked as the UFC’s top pound-for-pound king. At UFC 247, Reyes will have his hands full when he enters the black cage in Houston’s Toyota Center.

READ NEXT: Jon Jones and Potential Heavyweight Super Fights

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