MMA fighter Kyle Reyes has died at the age of 30 a week after he underwent surgery to repair a torn biceps. Reyes trained at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and had competed in several MMA organizations around the world. The Guam native, who went by the nickname “BOOM,” was found unresponsive in his hospital on Saturday, August 21, 2021, due to complications from surgery he had at a Nevada hospital the day before, his family said on GoFundMe. His friends announced his death on August 30, 2021, in social media posts.
“On Friday he had reconstructive surgery for his torn biceps on his left arm. The next 24 hours his health went downhill,” the GoFundMe page for his family said. “The doctors had found out he had an infection in his lung, pneumonia causing his right lung to collapse, oxygen levels at 50 which caused his brain to swell, he also had a temperature of 102. The infection had spread to his lungs, his organs were shutting down and we didn’t know the extent of damage to his brains and if he would come back to the same goofy, determined, living man that he is.”
Reyes is survived by his 8-year-old daughter, Kylie.
Reyes’ coach at Xtreme Couture, Eric Nicksick, wrote on Instagram, “Sometimes things don’t make sense in life. There’s small reminders every day, and then there’s the ones that hit you with a hammer. Reminding you the fragility of life, and how important it is to cherish each moment we have.”
Nicksick added, “When I think of the word ‘Teammate,’ I think of you, Kyle Reyes. One of the guys we could always count on to be there, now it’s our turn to be there for you and your family. Rest easy, my brother.”
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Reyes’ Friend & Fellow Guam Native Trevin Jones Said on Instagram, ‘He Was Good Until He Got Surgery’
UFC fighter Trevin Jones, Reyes’ close friend and fellow native of Guam, grieved his loss on Instagram. He said in videos posted to his Instagram stories, “It had to be the hospital’s fault, man. He was just good, bro. F****** crazy. I don’t believe this s***, bro. It has to be the hospital’s fault. Has to be. There’s no f***** way.”
Jones said he talked to Reyes after his surgery and he said he was “feeling crazy.” The next day, Jones said, Reyes was found unresponsive. He said that Reyes was found “passed out, his lung had gave out, his brain was swollen. … I’m telling you my homeboy was good, he was good until he got surgery. I don’t know what the f*** happened. Those doctors f***** up somewhere.”
Jones said Reyes was like family to him. The GoFundMe set up to help Reyes’ family detailed Reyes’ final days in the hospital before his death. His family and friends had hoped he was recovering. The last update was on Friday, August 27, a week after Reyes’ surgery.
“He is still in the ICU. He no longer has pneumonia and his organs are healing and doing their jobs. He is still on the ventilator but has progressed breathing on his own and hopefully they can remove the ventilators today. The doctors are concerned of the damage to his brain due to the swelling. He was more stable today and they were finally able to do an MRI to see the extent of his brain injury,” the GoFundMe said. “It was a long week for our family, each day small progress was made followed by heartbreaking news. Our brother was a born fighter and we all know he will get through this, he will continue to fight.”
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Kyle ‘BOOM’ Reyes Most Recently Fought in Russia & Was One of Jones’ Cornermen During His First 2 UFC Fights
Kyle “BOOM” Reyes had a 15-7 record over his career, with fights in several organizations and multiple countries, according to his Sherdog page. The featherweight fighter was from Barrigada, Guam. He began his career in 2009 with three straight wins in the Pacific X-treme Combat organization in his home country.
Reyes fought UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski in October 2014 at Pacific Xtreme Combat 45, losing a unanimous decision. He In 2015, he defeated current UFC fighter Kamuela Kirk in his first fight outside the PXC, at World Fighting Federation 19. Reyes’ last fight was in February 2020 in Russia, at ACA 104, where he lost to Bibert Tumenov by TKO. His final win was in August 2019, at ACA 98, also in Russia, where he knocked out Haron Orzumiev.
Along with his own fighting career, Reyes was a key training partner for Trevin Jones and was one of his cornerman during his first two UFC fights, both wins. Reyes was not able to be in Jones’ corner during his most recent fight because of his injuries, according to Jones. The UFC fighter said on Instagram that Reyes wasn’t able to enter the UFC bubble ahead of the Fight Night event on August 21, because he was scheduled for a doctor’s appointment to check on his torn bicep and broken right hand.
Jones wrote on Instagram, “Any other Saturday we would have been together watching the fights my bro. I was in quarantine getting ready to fight for entertainment while my number one mma training partner, one of my best friends started fighting for his life!!”
Tributes to Reyes Have Poured in From the UFC & MMA Community
Tributes to Reyes have poured in on social media from many in the UFC and MMA communities. UFC fighter Gina Mazany wrote on Instagram, “This is so heartbreaking – one of our own @kylereyesmma who just loved to fight and loved his daughter Kylie was taken way way too soon. He was that guy who worked his ass off and always had a smile on his face, my favorite was his laugh. I loved watching how great of a dad he was. Losers live forever and the good die young, see you on the other side bud ❤️”
Bellator fighter Jeremy Kennedy said on Instagram, “Kyle, I’m lost for words. Your attitude and good energy was contagious. You set the example of what I want to be as a father, friend & training partner. Going to really miss you man, fights won’t be the same without you there gassing me up all week 😂 We were side by side for many wins & losses, but your mindset remained the same, keep grinding and work harder. This loss hurts deep but I’m going to make you proud. Love you Boom.”
UFC fighter and Reyes’ Xtreme Couture teammate Dan Ige said in an Instagram post, “I’m at a loss for words. You made everyone around you better. Rest in love brother❤️😞🕊”
Xtreme Couture coach Eddie Barraco added, “It was no secret the love I have, and the desire for you to succeed in this world. I never thought in a million years I would be making a post like this, but here we are. In these difficult times we are faced with a crossroad in life. The only thing from here to do is focus on what we CAN control. We can all be better versions of ourselves to honor you memory. See you on the other side my brother.”