I had the opportunity to interview UFC light heavyweight competitor Dominick Reyes ahead of his fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC Fight Night in Santiago, Chile this Saturday on FS1. Having come across Dominick in the regional circuit back in February of 2017 at HFC 32 where I witnessed him finish his opponent with a highlight reel headkick KO in 27 seconds, I knew this young fighter was a definitely a talented prospect. Two fights later he made his UFC debut against Joachim Christensen and finished him in record time, 29 seconds.
This past December, Dominick got his fifth straight first round finish when he submitted Jeremy Kimball by rear-naked choke. Now 8-0, his next fight is against Jared Cannonier (10-3) this Saturday May 19. Training at Cobra Kai under former UFC fighter Joe “Daddy” Stevenson he was recently featured in an article in Fighters Only magazine and is a recipient of “Knockout of the Year” from The 2017 Fightlete Report End of Year MMA Regional Awards. Here are a few excerpts from our interview:
Sean Lennon – I Read in the article that you feel like where you’re at now it’s almost like a video game, there’s a lot more bonuses to unlock as you go along in your career. I know you’re obviously still looking for a head kick KO, that’s what you were known for outside the UFC. Recently getting a big submission victory as well, talk about how you take that approach?
Dominick Reyes – “Ya you got to fan fun with what you’re doing and to challenge yourself to reach new heights. Like I said in the interview it’s like a video game like when you do something different it’s a new achievement. It keeps it fresh and fun and that’s how I’m approaching it.”
Sean – Do you like to check your record online after the event to see it updated?
Dominick – “Ya its cool to go back and look to make sure everything stays green.”
Sean – You train with Joe “Daddy” Stevenson who brings a wealth of experience having fought for the UFC Lightweight title before, talk about how much influence he’s had on your career?
Dominick – “He’s had a quite a bit of influence on me, his wealth of experience in invaluable. He’s traveled and fought all over the world. He knows what it is to travel and fight. He knows what it is to fight for the title. He guides me on how to approach certain things during certain times. I’m also my own man and I understand myself and what I am and what I’m about so it’s a really good collaboration to have with him. I’m from the college football world where it’s really intense and every day your job is on the line it’s about perfection. When we combine our different mentalities we get what we have no and that’s me winning, and confident and humble, I’m a sportsman not a personality, I’m not like a Colby Covington or someone ridiculous. I’m a sportsman and I believe in sportsmanship.”
Sean – Talk about your opponent Jared Cannonier, tough guy (10-2). What do you think of him as an opponent?
Dominick – “He’s a fantastic opponent I mean he’s had 6 fights in the UFC, I’ve had 8 fights total. It’s something that’s really big for me, a great step in my career. I feel I’m the better fighter and athlete all round but it’s a fight. He’s tough and likes to throw hands, likes to bang and he’s evolving as well. It’s going to be great fight and I see myself coming out on top obviously, couldn’t tell you how but I just know my hand will be raised and yeah he’s a very quality opponent and his last lost was to Blachowicz and he’s number five in the world.”
Listen Live to the most action packed 2 hours on Chicagolandsportsradio.com, The Fightlete Report with Host Sean Lennon Tues @12pm on Chicagolandsportsradio.com or watch the Live Stream on Facebook – https://facebook.com/FightleteReport