Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes gave his take on where the promotion placed him for his comeback.
Reyes is set to mark his return to action against Ryan Spann at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The top-ranked contender goes into the bout after a year-and-a-half hiatus. He hit a skid in his professional career after competing with Jon Jones at UFC 247 in Feb. 2020 in a razor-thin contest that many believe could have gone either way. It marked the first defeat on Reyes’ resume.
He will look to get back on the winning column after dropping three in a row, suffering back-to-back knockout defeats, with his latest outing being the highlight reel finish by the reigning 205-pound king Jiri Prochazka in May 2021.
After the loss, Reyes remained on the sidelines to take a break from fighting. UFC announced his next fight with Reyes in August for the promotion’s return to New York City after a three year break.
Reyes Feels Disrespected by the UFC
Ahead of his return to competition, ‘The Devastator’ took to Twitter to express his disapproval of UFC’s decision to place his nearing fight with Spann on the prelims instead of the main card, which is a pay-per-view event as opposed to being televised.
“Wtf! Ok mfers I see I fkin see,” he wrote.
Reyes followed up, “Thing is it’s not about proving s***, I’ve proven my s***. it’s about disrespect.”
In his final message, Reyes wrote, “Honestly guys we will see what happens either way I’m goin home with a bag! Thanks for the support #teamreyes.”
Reyes Is Ready To Fight After the Layoff
From being undefeated to not scoring a win in three years, Reyes had a sharp decline in form. He racked up an impressive 12-fight win streak, including a notable finish of former UFC champion Chris Weidman, to earn his title shot opposite Jones.
‘The Devastator’ believes he’s ready to take to the octagon again after having some time off from the sport.
“I never considered not fighting, not ever,” Reyes said via MMA Fighting. “It was just needing to stop messing around, stop messing around on the streets and just get my s*** together. I never considered not fighting — I did take some time off, but look at Jiri, he didn’t fight until [UFC 275]. Over a year later, he’s barely fought as well. He didn’t get knocked out, I did, but he just stayed out. I’m looking to take a little bit more time and I’m looking to come back around October.
“But I didn’t do anything until [this past] October when I went to Vegas and went and tried out Xtreme Couture. I did a little bit of light sparring with Sean Strickland, which might’ve been his lightest sparring ever, but I went back there and I was the heaviest I had ever been. I was like 245, pretty out of shape, but they were cool, man — good people over there. They helped me get my mind back on the game. From then on, I’ve just been training and enjoying it, really.”