Interviews

Published on December 7th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Dominick Reyes Plans To End Jon Jones’ Reign In Houston At UFC 247!

Dominick Reyes enters the Octagon on February 8th against arguably the greatest martial artist of all-time, Jon “Bones” Jones.

Houston, Texas will host UFC 247. The main event features one of MMA’s most prominent fighters of all-time, Jon Jones. Across the cage from, “Bones,” will be undefeated California native, Dominick Reyes. Reyes is undefeated through 12-fights, having knocked out 7 of those 12 opponents. Just 6-fights into his UFC career, he has earned a title shot in the light heavyweight division. In October, it took, Reyes less than 2-minutes to knock out former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman earning not only a title shot, but his second consecutive headline slot. Although Jones has a disqualification loss on his record, he virtually undefeated in the eyes of most MMA pundits. Can Reyes be the first fighter to hand Jones his first legitimate loss? He’s so confident in his abilities that he’s already promised, Jones a rematch after he take his title.

Check out my recent conversation with, “The Devastator,” as we discuss his keys to victory, the thought of becoming a world-champion and much more!

How is everything going? How are you doing?

Dominick Reyes: It’s going great, man. I’m living in Cali, enjoying life and enjoying the opportunity that I have afforded myself. I’m just happy, man. Life is great.

February 8th is still somewhat down the line, have you started training or is that a few weeks away still?

Dominick Reyes: Nah, we’re in it. I’m in it to win it, man. Full swing. I’m going hard every day, pushing myself to the limit pretty much every day and doing all I can do.

You have called, Jon the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time. Now that you have reached the pinnacle of your career to share a cage with someone of that status, what has this journey to reach this level been like for you?

Dominick Reyes: The journey is to be the best. Throughout my whole journey, it’s been about trying to find the best guy. Trying to level up and fight a level up, move up the ranks and find the best guy out there, and this fight is me reaching that point. Now, I get to fight the best in the world, and I get to prove that I’m the best in the world.

Has it been an overwhelming feeling of pressure for you, are you just anxious to get to February, what has the feeling been like in that camp?

Dominick Reyes: So, it’s just mostly excitement, man. I don’t really feel a lot of nerves for this one. I’ve worked to a point where; I’m afforded the opportunity to like let it all go. I don’t have to worry about what’s next; you know what I mean? For me, this fight is, you’re undefeated, you’ve built your resume and done everything you can to get to this point, ain’t nothing left to it, but to do it. That’s really how I feel about this fight. It’s complete freedom.

It’s interesting that you say that because I felt the more pressure fight was the Chris Weidman fight in terms of the pressure to perform. That was the ultimate “trap” fight so to speak.

Dominick Reyes: I agree 100%. That was a super dangerous fight for me. I almost had nothing to gain. Getting my title fight… yes, but if I would have lost, oh man… oh man (laughing).

You looked spectacular in that fight. Was that because you knew the significance of it, or do you think you were just a level above Weidman?

Dominick Reyes: I think it was a few things. I think he underestimated me a little bit. At the same time, I leveled up beyond a level that he had seen from me. I think it was a little bit of both there. He underestimated me, and I’m just on this whole other… everything is in slow motion when I’m in there.

The ultimate goal isn’t just to say you shared a cage with, Jon Jones. You want his title. How do you feel you match up against him?

Dominick Reyes: It’s actually a pretty cool match up, man. I have fought some 6’4 guys, but neither one of us have fought many 6’4 guys. We are both long. He’s extremely long with his reach. I love the match up. I think we are both gamers. We both love to win and hate losing more than anything. Our records show that. We’re just two down ass motherfuckers, bro (laughing). He’s down to scrap, I’m down to scrap, let’s scrap.

Jon isn’t over the top with his trash talk, but he seems to get under his opponents’ skin because he’s somewhat dismissive of them.

Dominick Reyes: It’s little jabs. He just throws little jabs.

Do you avoid that and avoid letting him get under your skin or do you take it and use it as fuel?

Dominick Reyes: I just see it as; I don’t give a fuck (laughing). I’m at an unfuckwitable phase in my life right now. Nothing he can say or do can fuck with me. I’ve reached this point of mastering myself. It’s just about me. It’s not about what Jon’s gonna say, what Jon’s gonna do. It’s about what I’m going to do and how he’s going to deal with it. Yeah, he’s got shit that’s dangerous and all that stuff, but at the end of the day, if I go out there and impose my will, what offense does he have?

He had three fights in which you can say he had trouble in. Thiago Santos, his first fight against, Alexander Gustafsson and his fights with, Daniel Cormier. Do you draw something from those fights in which there were some resistance from his opponents, or do you come in the best, Dominick Reyes you can be and that will be enough?

Dominick Reyes: There is always something that can be learned from past fights. You watch film, you can check out tendencies. The thing with Jon and what made him so great is, his tendencies are hard to catch. He adapts to each fight individually. He’s taken the approach that I’m taking now, he’s done that throughout his whole career. So, he only worries about Jon for the most part. He obsesses about his opponents, but at the end of the day, you gotta be dynamic. You gotta be able to adapt to anything on the fly, and that’s what he’s great at. That’s what makes him so great. His ability to adapt to whatever is in front of him; for the most part. We’ll see what happens, man. I feel like I’m on the same level right now. It’s gonna be like a really cool chess match. We will both be adapting, give and take. I could see a possible Jones-Gus 1 fight out of me and Jones.

You are both considered very tall light heavyweights at 6’4. Do you prefer to fight guys your height or shorter or at this level it doesn’t matter?

Dominick Reyes: So, each different body type has different challenges. There are different ways to attack a shorter guy. There are different ways to attack a taller guy. There are different dangers from both of em. For instance, a shorter guy, it’s easier for them to shoot on you. Or it’s easier for them to get underneath your punches. Whereas a taller guy, it’s a little harder for them to get underneath you. But they have more range and if they know how to fight right, and they use their range properly, then it’s athleticism, range, dynamic… then you get, Jon Jones and guys like myself. Taller is better.

You have to respect his accomplishments and his skill set when you’re in there with him, but at the same time…

Dominick Reyes: (Cutting in) Not really! When I’m in there I don’t have to respect anything. And I’m not going to respect anything.

No doubt. I guess what I’m saying is, Anthony Smith showed him way too much respect, it’s like you have to forget who he is and just go for it.

Dominick Reyes: To relate to people, it’s like football. You grew up with someone and they are your best friend. You grew up playing football together, he goes to a rival high school. When you guys play, are you guys friends? Do you respect him? Hell no! Hell no! Every chance I get to crack this fool, I’m going to crack him. It’s the same exact thing.

Have you even wrapped your mind around the fact that on February 8th, Dana White could be wrapping that title around your waist and Bruce Buffer could be saying, “The new UFC light heavyweight champion of the world, Dominick Reyes!”

Dominick Reyes: Dude… I haven’t even thought about that yet, man. It’s so crazy. I’ve been in the UFC for 3-years and training for 6. I have been training my whole life, but in MMA for 6-years. Dude, I’m on like the best ride ever. I’m riding this wave, man and I’m on it.

Daniel Cormier told me that the hardest thing about fighting Jon Jones is that he throws so much at you that you constantly have to think the entire time you’re in there with him. Being technical with him is great, but I’m sure somewhere in the back of your mind you know at some point during this fight, you’re going to have to just fight him.

Dominick Reyes: Yes! Absolutely! I learned that lesson when I fought, Volkan [Oezdemir]. Against Volkan, I was worried about this. Because he had tremendous power. I had never really fought a guy with that much power, except for [Jared] Cannonier and I finished him in the first. We’re fighting and he breaks my nose, and I’m trying to be tactical and stick and move. I’m trying to be a boxer. And then, I reached a point in the fight where I’m like, “Man, fuck this, I’m about to bring it to this guy.” And from that point on, I realized it doesn’t matter. It’s about what you do. It’s not about what they do. All the other bullshit is just bullshit.

What separates you from Jon Jones on February 8th that will get your hand raised?

Dominick Reyes: I think the fact that I’m a true athlete. I was very successful in all of the ball sports coming up. All the other stuff… I was very successful. I consider myself a true athlete. He’s a good athlete, yes, but I think I’m better. I think my youth and my athleticism is going to win me this fight.

You are very confident, and you are a nice guy. You have already offered him a rematch after you defeat him for his belt (laughing).

Dominick Reyes: (Laughing). Knock him down, “Get up, let’s do it again.”

I appreciate the time; I can’t wait to see this fight and good luck during training camp. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dominick Reyes: Thank you for having me on the show. Thanks to all of my supporters and friends and family. Much love, guys.

 



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