UFC 229 featured several marquee matchups that left behind a trail of thrilling highlights and memorable moments. Among them are Derrick Lewis’ comeback knockout win over Alexander Volkov (highlights), which prompted his now-infamous “balls was hot” interview. And who could forget Anthony Pettis and Tony Ferguson’s back-and-forth brawl (see it) in the co-main event?
Not to mention, Dominick Reyes picked up a staple win over former Light Heavyweight title contender Ovince Saint Preux, which nearly saw “The Devastator” score a buzzer-beating knockout victory.
And while that was supposed to be one of Dominick’s biggest moments in his career, it — along with everything else — was quickly forgotten due to the post-fight brawl between Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor and their respective camps.
It’s something that still leaves a bitter taste in Dominick’s mouth.
“The experience as a whole was awesome, you know? Vegas, 229, huge media everywhere. It was a good experience and the fight went amazing, I destroyed ‘OSP,’” said Reyes in an interview with MMA Junkie, adding that Khabib’s behavior was downright childish and immature.
“It took away from my shine a little bit. It was a little frustrating, because it’s kind of childish and very immature. We’re professionals. You’re acting like a kid, throwing a tantrum. You won. Who wins and is a sore winner? I’ve never heard of that before.”
Reyes, though, doesn’t have that worry in the back of his mind as he goes into UFC Fight Night 147 to face Volkan Oezdemir this Saturday night (March 16, 2019) in London, England.
“That was a little bit frustrating for me, because my performance was a bit overshadowed by that whole fiasco, and this time I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’ve got consummate professionals on this card, and we’ve got some scrappers, and my performance is not going to be overshadowed,” he added.
Undefeated at 10-0 (4-0 UFC), Dominick doesn’t want to be considered a prospect anymore, as he feels he’s done enough to be considered a legit contender to the division title.
“I’m no longer a prospect,” Reyes said. “That’s out of the question. I’m a contender now. I’ve worked too hard. I have four finishes in the UFC, what cases can go against me? And I beat – (Jared) Cannonier was Top 15, ‘OSP’ was Top 5 at the time when I signed the contract, now Volkan is Top 5,” he added.
“What else do I got to do? And all those guys were former title challengers, you know? Who do they want me to fight? (Anthony) Smith? Who else? I get it, but it’s my turn.”
A win over Volkan should be enough to put him over the top and give him the opportunity to live up to this bold statement.