Dominick Reyes explains how he’ll handle title fight pressure

Dominick Reyes
Image via @ufc on Instagram

Dominick Reyes has risen through the light heavyweight division rather quickly and in doing so, he’s earned himself a title fight opportunity against defending champion Jon Jones. That fight has been scheduled to take place on February 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas and will be the first UFC title fight opportunity for Reyes.

While it won’t be the first main event for Reyes, the opportunity to defeat Jon Jones and become the new light heavyweight champion is something he and many other young contenders have put in the work for, and now Reyes has his time.

In his first main event fight, Reyes defeated former middleweight champion Chris Weidman earlier this year in Boston, improving his professional record to 12-0 and lining him up to take on Jon Jones. There have been other rising contenders who have gotten to the title fight only to come up short in their quest to beat Jones, but Reyes doesn’t believe the opponent or the stage will be too much for him.

During an interview with The Luke Thomas Show on Sirius XM, Reyes was asked about how he plans to handle the pressure on fighting Jon Jones in a PPV main event title fight.

Reyes said this high-profile fight is everything he’s prepared for.

https://twitter.com/MMAonSiriusXM/status/1199488110956097543

“That’s my shit, I love the bright lights, the brighter they are, the hotter they are, the better it is” Reyes said. “I’ve lived my whole life kind of under the lights. I was a pitcher in baseball, the number 4 batter, I was team captain, I was always the guy in all my teams I played for. The way I always saw it was the more people that could see me, the better, because then they could tell their friends about me and then I can get my name out there more. I’ve always been a big fish in a small pond and now with the UFC I get the opportunity to be the big fish in the ocean. I’m excited about it, I just can’t freaking wait.”

Reyes then broke down what he learned from every fight since joining the UFC. See what he learned in each UFC win so far:

Joachim Christensen fight: “I belong here”
Jeremy Kimball: “I can handle pressure”
Jared Cannonier: “I can be champion”
Ovince St. Preux: “I’m going to be champion, I have heart and I have power late in fights.”
Volkan Oezdemir: “I can take a punch”
Chris Weidman: “I am who I thought I am”

In his 12 professional fights, Reyes has finished 9 of his opponents including 4 of his UFC victories coming as first-round stoppages. Facing Jon Jones will be a tall task for Reyes, but when it comes to the big stage, he is beaming with confidence that the bright lights won’t effect him.

What do you make of Dominick Reyes’ confidence heading into the fight against Jon Jones?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/27/2019.