It was simply two days into 2015 when Dominick Reyes jotted down his objectives for the New Year into his each day planner. Slugged underneath the class “Career (Fighter/Artist),” the 13th merchandise down his bulleted listing learn “Chris Weidman-like year.”
Reyes was referring to Weidman’s tear within the UFC up till that time, which included him scoring back-to-back knockouts of MMA legend Anderson Silva and getting previous Lyoto Machida by unanimous choice from July 2013 to July 2014.
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More than 4 years later and right here Reyes is, on the point of staring Weidman down throughout the octagon Friday evening within the UFC Boston important occasion on the TD Garden in Boston.
When your idols turn out to be your rivals, let’s say, with Reyes making it clear that he’ll be “#Headhunting” for an explosive end over Weidman.
“It needs to be emphatic, it needs to be a dominant performance,” Reyes tells Sporting News in regards to the method at which he must win in. “Whether I finish him or not, it needs to be Dominick Reyes beating Chris Weidman pretty bad.”
The 29-year-old says that to make sure that a title shot against UFC gentle heavyweight champion — and arguably the best combined martial artist ever — Jon Jones is subsequent.
Jones and Reyes have traded phrases earlier than, with the previous tweeting this previous July, “Somebody ask him if he wants some smoke.”
Later that very same month, Reyes took to his Instagram account and let his “#Takethestrap” intentions be identified.
When Jones’ title is introduced up throughout this battle week, Reyes takes the excessive street, navigating towards Weidman first.
“I think he’s a great champion and I’ll have more thoughts on that whole situation after I win this fight,” Reyes vows concerning Jones. “We could talk about it some more (then).”
Reyes clearly has loads to say about dealing with Jones, however he’s not going to make the error of overlooking Weidman by even an inch, because the “All-American” has reminded Reyes about his personal legend throughout this buildup towards UFC Boston.
While the 35-year-old Weidman (14-4) can boast a bit, he enters this battle having misplaced 4 of his final 5 bouts, together with the third-round KO he suffered against Ronaldo Souza in November.
The undefeated Reyes, alternatively, acquired thus far by being an ideal 5-Zero within the UFC and 11-Zero general.
When he took to his each day planner in January 2015, Reyes had just one MMA professional bout underneath his belt and was nonetheless attempting to shake off not making the NFL. For a launch from that anguish, Reyes poured his coronary heart into writing his ideas in journals, as mentioned at size with ESPN just lately.
That began a sluggish crawl up the MMA meals chain for six-foot-four Reyes, who went 2-Zero that 12 months and piled on three wins by way of first-round knockout earlier than making his UFC debut with a first-round TKO of Joachim Christensen in June 2017.
After producing two extra first-round stoppages, together with a vicious TKO against Jared Cannonier in May 2018, Reyes lastly went the gap within the UFC, having edged Ovince Saint Preux and Volkan Oezdemir by unanimous and cut up choice in October and March, respectively.
“It’s been a slow brew,” Reyes says of his journey up the ranks. “I’ve been taking my steps, doing the correct issues and taking out actually harmful guys. They didn’t essentially have the most important names, however that’s the place this battle is available in and fills in that hole.
“God’s put me exactly where I need to be,” he continues. “I feel like this fight is going to send me over the edge in terms of name recognition and people knowing who I am and really seeing what I’m about. I think everything is the way it should be.”
A win Friday evening that lives as much as his nickname of “The Devastator” and Reyes is aware of that he can presumably sink his enamel into what he has been craving and scribble out a brand new objective into his planner.
“A shot at the title,” Reyes says referring to a crack at Jones, “getting my opportunity to prove I’m the best fighter in my division.”