Reyes outlines his path to another title opportunity
The last time UFC lightweight contender Dominick Reyes was in the Octagon, he had his second shot at the division’s belt turn into a disaster at the hands of Jan Blachowicz.
Reyes suffered a second-round, TKO loss at UFC 253 in a bout for the vacant belt. He has since revealed that a lot of the problems he had during the fight were as a result of things that were swirling around him throughout his camp.
"It wasn’t an ideal situation all the way around. I changed up camp, it was a short-notice fight, my dad was sick – there was a lot going on,” Reyes told TSN. “I had a broken nose going into the fight. Sometimes you gotta do things you don’t want to do and you probably shouldn’t do, and you do them anyway and you learn lessons.”
The 31-year-old hopes to take those lessons and apply them on Saturday as he returns to face Jiří Procházka in the main event of Fight Night in Las Vegas.
As far as the matchup is concerned, Reyes isn’t worried about the risks in facing Procházka and believes he’s stepping into the cage with the right fighter.
"He’s No. 5 (ranked), he earned his spot, he’s 27-3 overall,” said Reyes. “Bottom line, he’s top 5, I’m No. 3. It’s a fight that makes sense and I’m excited for it.”
Procházka also has a reputation for unorthodox movement and offence, which, among other things, led to a vicious knockout victory over Volkan Oezdemir in his last outing.
Reyes said it was difficult at first to get a handle on his opponent’s style, but he and his team were able to zero in on what they’ll be facing.
"Initially it was tough,” said Reyes. “Figuring out the rhythm and the rhyme or reason for what he’s doing, but we have a great grasp of what’s going on now.”
With Glover Teixeira lined up to get the next title shot in the division, Reyes believes that with a victory, a No.1 contender fight is all that stands between him and another shot at the gold.
"The winner of this fights (Aleksandar) Rakic probably, and then they fight for the next title.”