At UFC 229, rising light heavyweight talent Dominick Reyes took on a perennial light heavyweight contender in Ovince Saint Preux.
Reyes entered the UFC after going 6-0 in smaller promotions. When he reached the UFC, the winning ways continued. The former college football player finished his first three UFC fights in the first round — two by knockout and one by submission. After this success, the versatile Reyes wanted a bigger name and at UFC 229 he got his wish. Against Saint Preux, Dominick Reyes would be tested, but a win promised to carry his career to new heights.
In the end, Reyes wound up dominating this high-stakes fight with Saint Preux. He simply outclassed his opponent for the entirety of the fight.
“It couldn’t have gone any better, man,” Reyes said on episode 102 of BJPENN.COM Radio. “If you think about it, if I would have finished him in the first, then the same questions would still be around, right? [People would say] ‘oh, we don’t know what he can do, we don’t know about his takedown defense, we don’t know about his gas tank.’ It’s like as you go three [rounds], I got to see what it feels like, and then also answer a bunch of questions at the same time.”
While Dominick Reyes ultimately won this fight by decision, it looked as though he actually knocked Saint Preux out before the final bell. That said, the referee didn’t stop the fight. While Reyes feels that his foe was definitely done, he said he’s glad he refrained from landing any followup shots.
“Man, you know when you hit the ball just right, or you tackle someone just right, and it doesn’t feel like anything,” he said. “You gotta hit the sweet spot. I just knew…and then I saw his body, the way he was falling, and I knew it was over. And plus also I knew how much time was on the clock. I think it was less than 10 seconds, so…any follow-up shots would just be unnecessary. I knew it was over. I did want to finish the fight, but it was a little bit of both. So I wanted to finish the fight, and the opening presented itself, so I took it.”
Dominick Reyes is now hoping to fight somebody in the light heavyweight top-5, perhaps as soon as UFC 232 this December, where he could serve as an alternate for the card’s Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson main event.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/22/2018.