Thursday, December 8, 2022

Dominick Reyes Names The Top LHW He’ll “Never Fight”

Dominick Reyes is eager to get back into the light heavyweight title picture, but he also claims there’s one fighter in the weight class that he has no intention of fighting.

UFC fans last saw “The Devastator” when he was knocked out by current light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka in 2021. That was Reyes’ second consecutive knockout loss and third loss in a row after losing a controversial decision to Jon Jones in a 2020 bid for the light heavyweight title.

The 32-year-old is set to return to action for the first time in more than a year when he meets Ryan Spann on the prelims of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden tonight. Reyes was either the main or co-main event in his last four fights, which prompted a question at the UFC 281 media day regarding whether or not he’s frustrated about being relegated to the undercard for his fight with Spann.

“As a fighter, we always wanna be the top guy,” Reyes answered. “But it is what it is man. I’ve been spending my time in Connecticut with Glover Teixeira. He helped me a lot with living in the now and just living right now, just appreciating everything you have. Nothing’s guaranteed.”

Reyes Pleased With Camp Switch

Reyes made some significant changes ahead of his return to the cage at UFC 281, one of which was moving to Connecticut to train at Glover Teixeira’s gym.

Teixeira claimed the UFC’s light heavyweight title when he submitted Jan Blachowicz at UFC 275 last year. The Brazilian nearly defended the title against Procházka earlier this year before being submitted with less than 30 seconds in the fight, and the pair will fight again at next month’s UFC 282.

Given that Reyes’ ultimate goal is to become light heavyweight champion himself, it stands to reason that he could find himself matched up with Teixeira at some point. “The Devastator” admitted when asked that Teixeira may well have retired by the time he earns another title shot, but that he’d have no interest in fighting the Brazilian either way.

Many thought Reyes did enough to dethrone Jon Jones and win the light heavyweight title in 2020. (Zuffa LLC)

“Yeah that seems to be kind of the feel. But me and Glover are great friends man, I’ll never fight Glover. Whatever happens, we’re not gonna fight. I’m just happy to be around the guy.”

Reyes’ bout with Spann will be one of the final prelim bouts before a loaded UFC 281 main card that includes two title fights. Carla Esparza will look to defend her strawweight title against former champion Weili Zhang in the co-main event, while the main event sees middleweight king Israel Adesanya taking on kickboxing rival Alex Pereira.

What do you make of Reyes’ comments that he has no intention of ever fighting Teixeira?