Tony Reid – I’m sure I’m the first person to ask you about the Jon Jones fight. The vast majority of the MMA Community and world population felt you dethroned the champion. With some time to reflect, what are your most vivid memories from the fight itself?
Dominick Reyes – I actually remember pretty much everything from the fight. It’s the first time in my career that I can remember everything. My favorite part of the fight was the pre-fight. I knew I had him before the fight.
Tony Reid – What was it specifically that made you feel so confident in that moment?
Dominick Reyes – I saw it in his eyes, man. He was trying to hype himself up and I was already there. Too late, buddy. You should have already got here beforehand because I am ready to go. Throughout the fight, I grew. I grew during the fight. I learned stuff during the fight. I saw new openings. I started doing things differently. I fought orthodox for a while. I had never done that before. I was a beautiful experience, man. It was one of those situations where everything went the way it was supposed to go. I did everything right. I did my job to the fullest but at the end of the day it was right back to the football crap where somebody took it from me.
Tony Reid – I can only imagine that a rematch is in order and nothing else at this point. We keep hearing the term uncrowned champ. Do you really feel like the title is yours already?
Dominick Reyes – We have to do it again. We have to. And yes, absolutely. That is exactly how I feel. I am the uncrowned king. Honestly, the peoples champ is getting treated better than the regular champ right now. I said it right after the fight. I will say it now. Put it on my Instagram. I am the uncrowned king. 98% of the world agrees. Little kids, old ladies, people who don’t watch fighting, everybody is in agreement that I won that fight. You don’t need experts but it’s the experts that are trying to make up things to say I didn’t win the fight. It’s ridiculous.
Tony Reid – The judging in MMA has been such a damn crap shoot since the beginning. I can imagine what your thoughts are but I will ask you anyway. What are your thoughts on judging and what can we do to improve the system?
Dominick Reyes – The only thing I would change would be to have people who have a background in fighting as judges. It’s just finding qualified people. The people doing it now, honestly, they probably don’t even watch MMA. I have no idea. I don’t know how to fix it. My only way is to knock people out and I did my very best (laughs). I’m sorry guys. I had to leave it up to the judges. That’s the thing, you leave it up to the judges, and I know I won three rounds, handedly. I know what I did. People say, well, maybe he didn’t with the third. No, I fucking won the third round, handedly. Those few people are debating that, trying to save face. I hate to say this but it kind of felt like a fix. I’m just going to put it out there. Look at the scorecards. Every judge had me losing that fight. Every judge said I lost the second round. The second round was my best round. What is that? How are these numbers that same as the first Gustafsson fight? It’s not the same fight.
Tony Reid – You mentioned Gustafsson there. That first Gustafsson fight was the fight seen as Jones’ stiffest test in his career. You are the new Gus fight, Gus 2.0. if you will. Do you feel that is the case?
Dominick Reyes – I predicted that before the fight. I said it was going to be a lot like Jones vs. Gustafsson 1 but I was going to win. My whole thing was to have an ESPN Instant Classic fight in order to get my legacy out there. I wanted to have that fight that people would just look at and say ‘Wow.’ That was my goal. Then I came out on top. It should have been such a historic moment. It should have been a huge, gigantic moment for the UFC, for the combat sports world and for myself. Then these freaking people scored it without watching the fight.
Tony Reid – After the fight, as Dan Miragliotta has his hand on your wrist, what was going through your mind at that moment?
Dominick Reyes – At that point I just closed my eyes and was thinking please just say the right words. Please just say ‘And new.’ Then I heard the scorecards. OK, I heard 4-2, one judge had me winning four rounds. That makes sense. I beat Jon unanimously. Nobody does that. Ok, here we go. Then I hear ‘And still’. Oh, shit. That was my initial thought. It is what it is, I guess. What am I going to do, cry about it?
Tony Reid – The old adage of you have to beat the champ to be the champ is a slippery slope, because then the question becomes how far do you have to go to beat the champ?
Dominick Reyes – No matter how you slice it is 3-2 is 3-2. You can divvy it up however you want but 3-2 is 3-2. There is nothing else to be said. To be the champ you have to beat the champ, blah, blah, blah. Alright, cool. I did! I hurt him multiple times in that fight. I didn’t get hurt one time. I never felt like I was truly in danger. In the fifth round I wasn’t dead tired. I was playing prevent defense. OK, don’t get knocked out and you the world champion. I am using tactics and fighting smart. I out game-planned Mike Winklejohn and Greg Jackson. It’s crazy. Then I don’t get the dub. This guy has to fight me again. If not, I will just go to his house and slap him.
Tony Reid – Once you got home and returned to some level of normalcy, what was the moment like when you sat down on the couch for the first time?
Dominick Reyes – My legs hurt (laughs). It wasn’t from getting kicked, it was from kicking him. Man, I sacrificed my legs for this and didn’t get it. It’s like the price of fame. I’m over here on crutches. That’s the price you pay. When I sat down on the couch and looked back on everything my thoughts were just that I was super fucking proud. I did it. I fucking did it. Who cares what the judges say? I am very proud of what I did that night. I really showed my heart. I let it all hang out. I went for it. I fucking went for it. I knew that if I didn’t go for it then there is no way you can win. That’s the only way. If I wouldn’t have gone for it like that he would have just done what he did to everyone else. The way I did it, the risk is amplified. It was worth it. Get knocked out or knock him out. You have to jump into the fire to make it happen. You have to be uncomfortable. You have to bleed. That is part of it. If you want it, that’s what it takes. If not, sit back and be scared to get hit.
Tony Reid – Stripping everything down to bare bones, removing all of the B.S., you beat Jon Jones.
Dominick Reyes – Absolutely. I was more tactical than him. I was sharper than him. I was faster than him. I moved better than him. I outmaneuvered him. I was much stronger than him. I was shocked. The most shocking thing about the entire fight was how much stronger I was than him. I heard all these stories all this time about how strong he is here and how strong he is there. Then we get there and I was like ‘OK.’
Tony Reid – Do you feel like there was a moment in the fight he realized all of those things, too?
Dominick Reyes – Going into the second round. I looked him in the eye and he looked me in the eye and said ‘Alright motherfucker.’ I looked at him and thought I’m not stopping. I was thinking that in my head. You better put your hands up because I’m coming right now. I was thinking the most sinister thoughts ever. I was going to get his ass. Come on, ring this bell.
Tony Reid- If we were talking after the rematch what would we be talking about?
Dominick Reyes – We would be talking about a trilogy fight at the Raiders new stadium in Las Vegas.