UFC 281, which took place this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) in New York City, was supposed to be a big comeback night for Dominick Reyes, who hadn’t fought since taking a brutal beating at the hands of Jiri Prochazka in a May 2021 title fight. Instead, a quick flash knockout loss to Ryan Spann left fans questioning whether Reyes can still compete in UFC’s savage Light Heavyweight division.
Spann hit Reyes with a stiff jab just 1:20 into the first round of their fight, and the blow sent “The Devastator” to the canvas like a sack of bricks (watch the finish here). Was the loss just bad luck or a sign Reyes’ chin has been compromised? UFC President, Dana White, isn’t sure what’s caused the former title contender to slip so far, but it concerns him.
“It’s almost like he hasn’t been the same since that Jon Jones fight,” White said at UFC’s 281 post-fight press conference. Reyes lost a controversial decision to Jones in Feb. 2020 and hasn’t won in the three fights since. All three of those fights were (technical) knockout finishes as well.
Asked where Reyes goes after moving to 0-4 over the past two years, White was unsure.
“I don’t know — I don’t know right now,” White said. “I think, first and foremost, I would see what he wants to do. What does he want to do? And where’s he at mentally? And what’s he thinking?”
Reyes has now answered that question via a statement released through social media.
“I was hungry to get my hand raised and rushed the fight, I’m OK,” Reyes wrote. “I live to fight another day. Another lesson learned. Congrats to Alex Pereira what an incredible performance to become the middleweight champion. God is good always. Thank you to my friends and family who support me, to my management Tiki Ghosn and Julian Gregorio. And big thank you to Teixeira MMA and Fitness and Fernely Feliz Sr. for the camp and believing in me.”
“I’ll be back just have to shake it off and get back in there,” Reyes concluded. “Big thank you to the UFC, Dana White and Madison Square Garden for the opportunity. The energy was amazing last night and it felt great to be in the arena again!”
The loss dropped Reyes down UFC’s 205-pound rankings five slots to No. 12. Another defeat and he may find himself unranked ... if not out of a job.
For complete UFC 281 results and coverage click here.