Dominick Reyes is a rising star in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He is undefeated and a few weeks back at UFC London, Reyes was set to take on his toughest challenge to date in Volkan Oezdemir.
Ultimately, Reyes won the fight by decision, in which some say Oezdemir won. With that, Reyes believes he has learned a valuable lesson from that fight.
“I feel like it was a gut check kind of fight for me,” Reyes said on The MMA Hour. “I had to find that next gear. I’m not completely satisfied with my performance, I know I’ve got a lot more to show, but I came away with a win and that’s all that matters.”
Meanwhile, Reyes believes he gave too much credit and respect to Oezdemir during the fight which is why his performance was not as strong.
“I controlled the distance pretty well, my feints and fakes were working, but I think I just gave him too much respect to be quite honest,” Reyes said. “I respected him more than I did my own thing. Instead of going out and doing my thing, I was worried about what he was doing and his power and things like that. It ended up working out, but going forward I’m definitely just gonna focus on playing my game.”
“I pretty much did everything I was game planning to do,” he added. “I just didn’t pull the trigger as much as I would have liked to.”
In the end, it is yet another win for Reyes as he continues his rise up the light heavyweight rankings. The hope is he gets a shot at Jon Jones sometime this year. But, Reyes knows he will need at least one more win.
“It was huge. I got to go three rounds, Octagon time is invaluable, getting that time in there,” Reyes said. “Mid-fight I decided, ‘I’m gonna win this fight. And if I get knocked out, I get knocked out.’ That was part of it. I grew mid-fight. And I know without a doubt my cardio will hold up. I was pushing it throughout and I just felt like I was getting stronger.
“And then in terms of game planning and doing what I want to do, this was a good experience because I didn’t do exactly what I wanted to do in this fight and I recognized what happened and then how to address it going forward. It’s like, I’m not gonna just worry about my opponent only. Never again, it’s about me going forward.”