Since signing with the UFC, Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes has continued his streak of excellent performances, finishing Joachim Christensen, Jeremy Kimball, Jared Cannonier and had a very convincing win over Ovince St. Preux (OSP). He looks to continue his dominant run and continue to climb the UFC light heavyweight ranks when he faces Volkan Oezdemir in the featured bout at UFC London on March 16.
Before getting Oezdemir as an opponent, Reyes went on Twitter asking to fight the last title contender in the light heavyweight division, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith and Jan Blachowicz but they didn’t work out and he is happy to have Oezdemir as an opponent.
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Here we go!!! I'm getting down in London vs the heavy handed Volkan Oezdemir. As you all know I revel in these opportunities esp when It has been a dream to fight in #London and an opportunity to get closer to the belt!! Plus, I hear @theo2london is the loudest rowdiest areana in the world. Things just keep getting better and better!!! 😈😍 👊💪🤙 #devastatorarmy #teamreyes #ufclondon #earnit #heavyhitters #mataleon #teamhustle #cobrakai #cagecombat #dhaf #teamelevation #topps #nutritionedge #highdesert #ca #biggerthestage #biggerthestar #statementfight
“Volkan’s an established guy, he’s in the top, he fought for the title two fights ago, his most recent fight was against the title challenger so, I beat Volkan it puts me right in that conversation for who’s next.”
Reyes believes Thiago Santos will get the next shot at Jon Jones but he also believes with a win over Oezdemir he might be one fight away from a title opportunity himself.
“I might need another win, I don’t know against who but possibly another one and then fight for the title.”
Since he entered the sport, Reyes has had his eye on the UFC’s light heavyweight belt. After watching Anthony Smith’s bout against Jones, he respects Smith’s toughness and he saw things that will help him against Jones in the future.
“Much respect for continuing to fight and not take the easy way out and just take the DQ. But overall, there’s things I saw that I felt are going to benefit me going forward.”
Reyes says he already has his strategy for fighting Jon Jones.
“I’ve had that strategy for years, it hasn’t changed, we’ll see when we get there. It’s top secret.”
But before he can use his top-secret strategy to fight Jones, Reyes has to get past Oezdemir, a very tough opponent in his own right. Oezdemir moved very quickly through the UFC’s light heavyweight ranks proving his nickname, “No Time” was well-earned by beating Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in the first round. Reyes is taking this matchup very seriously, for the first time, he is doing his full training camp at Elevation Fight team instead of breaking it up and training back home in California for part of the camp. With that hard work, he expects a win and a finish at UFC London.
“It’s a finisher fight, we’re both finishers so it’s going to be an exciting matchup, I’m really excited about it, but I’m going to dictate the pace, you can’t hit what you can’t touch. That’s how I fight, so we’ll see what happens, but I’m sure I’m going to win.”
The biggest difference in Reyes’ games is his confidence. The Devastator hasn’t lacked for self-belief but seeing is believing and he says that the convincing win over OSP has made a big difference in his confidence level.
“For me to go out and do what I did o him, it impressed me, that’s what I’m capable of. I knew I always was but to actually see it, it was eye opening to me. Like ok, I really am who I think I am.”
“It wasn’t really doubt, it was just the unknown, I’ve never gone against an established name or someone like that. The same way people were looking at me, like oh he hasn’t fought anyone, was kinda how I was feeling about myself. Except for Cannonier, I knew Cannonier was a phenomenal fighter, look at who he just fought, he just destroyed Branch. I knew Cannonier was legit, that fight really made me feel legit but it wasn’t a name, you know what I mean? He wasn’t a huge name in the division. I think after the Cannonier fight was when I was like, ok I’m legit and then after the OSP fight I was like, ok, I can be champion. It’s like the levels.”
MMA is a sport that let’s one test themselves in many aspects and allows fighters to prove themselves to the fans and to themselves. Reyes believes he can defeat Jones now, but he wants to prove that he can win in every aspect and not be prepared to be a long-term champion.
“There are little things that I want to see myself do before I fight the champ, become the champ. I don’t want to go in there and catch him and win and then maybe everything isn’t where it needs to be. I want to see myself complete before I fight the champ, it’s hard to explain what those things are.”
Reyes explained what a few of those things are:
“I have a few things in my head, for instance, my top game. I want to see myself strike it out with Volkan, beat him on the feet as well. He’s probably the most dangerous guy in the division as far as knockout power with his hands, I want to see myself handle it easily. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to take care of dealing with that power but I want to see it. “
“Don’t get me wrong, I still have tremendous amount of confidence in my abilities and I know what I can do, but I still want to see it.”
“I want to see myself do great things.”
But he wants to do it his way.
“I’m the kind of person that likes to see the steps, the algorithms, do certain things a certain way, II want to see myself do it the way I’m envisioning. Do I think I can beat anyone in the division? Yes, but I want the highlight reel to go with it.”
But to be clear, he wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to go ahead.
But when it all comes down to it, through all the desire to improve and be the best in the world, Reyes is
“Bottom line when it comes down to me fighting, I just like going out there and having fun. This is a dream come true. Whether or not I want to see this or that, bottom line I’m out there enjoying myself and it I couldn’t be happier.”