Earlier this month, on the main card of UFC 229, undefeated light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes picked up the biggest victory of his career thus far, dominating former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux to a unanimous decision triumph.
With this impressive triumph, Dominick Reyes usurped the number-six spot in the UFC light heavyweight rankings. Having done so, he can now look forward to scraps with the division’s very best fighters.
That being said, most of the light heavyweight top-5 is currently booked. Jimi Manuwa (no. 5) is booked for a fight with Thiago Santos, Ilir Latifi (no. 4) is booked for a fight with Corey Anderson, and Volkan Oezdemir (no. 2) is booked for a fight with Anthony Smith. Alexander Gustafsson (no. 1), finally, is booked for a UFC 232 light heavyweight title fight with former champion Jon Jones, as the division’s reigning champion Daniel Cormier has moved up to heavyweight.
This leaves just one top-5 light heavyweight that does not have a fight booked: Poland’s Jan Blachowicz.
Dominick Reyes has recently expressed interest in a fight with Blachowicz, and speaking on episode 102 of BJPENN.COM Radio, divulged that he’d like to fight at UFC 232, where he could serve as an understudy for the main event Jones vs. Gustafsson fight.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said of his next fight. “I think it would be a good fight against anyone [in the top-5]. The top-5 is a murderer’s row, and [they have] a lot of experience, a lot of technical ability. I’d like to test myself against pretty much any one of those guys.
“I’m number 6, it doesn’t make sense to go to number 7,” he added. “We’re gonna see what it is. I’m hoping for Jan Blachowicz, but we’ll see.
“I wouldn’t mind being an alternate on that Jones-Gustafsson card. That’d be cool.”
“Anything’s possible. I could be champ by the end of the year if one of them doesn’t make weight and they want to keep me as alternate.”
While Dominick Reyes would be interested in fighting Jan Blachowicz at UFC 232, he also reminded that his birthday is in December, the same month as the card. Given that he’d like to enjoy his birthday — birthday cake and training camp don’t mix— he also wouldn’t mind waiting until the New Year to fight again. He’s already accomplished plenty this year, after all.
“I feel like that [UFC 232] would be good, or next year, around March next year,” he said. “Cause my birthday’s in December.
“I’ve had a great year,” he added. “I’ve jumped to the top-10 this year. I’m doing things I didn’t think I could do. And it’s really cool, and I want to enjoy it a little bit.”
Whenever he returns to the cage, Dominick Reyes assures that the best is yet to come.
“I’m only getting better every day. I work hard every day. I’m relatively young in the sport. And yeah, you know what you’re going to get when you see me fight. You’re going to see clean, swift strikes. I fight with relentless activity, and I’m there to finish. If you enjoy good fighting, watch me fight.”
Who do you want to see Dominick Reyes fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/22/2018.