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Midnight Mania! Dominick Reyes returns opposite Ryan Spann at UFC 281

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UFC 253 Reyes v Blachowicz Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

It’s been a long time since we last saw Dominick Reyes inside the Octagon, but per a report from MMAJunkie, that’s about to change. Reyes is finally set to return to action against a ranked opponent in the heavy-handed Ryan Spann. The pair are now scheduled to throw down at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

Reyes’ 18-month layoff is totally understandable and actually a wise decision. After his razor-thin and highly debatable loss to Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight title, Reyes kind of fell apart. “The Devastator” has admitted that the controversial loss affected him mentally, and those struggles carried into the cage. In his two trips back to the Octagon, Reyes was pretty violently stopped by both Jan Blachowicz and Jiri Prochazka. All three of those names mentioned are current or former champions, so they aren’t bad losses, but it was nice to see Reyes reset and recover before trying to jump back into the fray.

“Superman” Spann rose pretty quickly up the ladder, breaking into the Top 15 after just a few fights at 205 lbs. Perhaps it was a bit too quickly, as Spann’s four-fight win streak and overall momentum stalled once he met more skilled opposition. He’s alternated wins and losses in his last four bouts, most recently strangling Ion Cutelaba in an excellent showing.

A former two-time title challenger attempts to rebound against a legitimate prospect and finishing threat — who ya’ got?

Insomnia

That boy ain’t right.

Stuff the takedown and answer right away!

I don’t want to see Frankie Edgar fight Ricky Simon, but this callout made me laugh.

100% certified organic prime Featherweight banger:

Congrats and F you.

Quite a few excellent fighters have announced their retirement in 2022, but for the most part, I don’t think any have been shocking. Rory MacDonald has seemed mentally retired for a while now …

Another innovative O’Malley training strategy:

Slips, rips, and KO clips

A big throw like this can knock the wind out of an opponent, leaving them vulnerable to follow up shots.

Very impressive control to maintain hold of the arm while transition into the top side crucifix.

Perfect timing, a face plant, walk-off knockout — hard to find a better flying knee.

Random Land

… Okay, maybe this is a better flying knee.

Midnight Music: Don’t pretend it’s not a great song.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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