Dominick Reyes, the fighter who managed to divide the waters and seeks the belt at UFC 253

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In his fight against Jon Jones in February, he not only lost his undefeated Thursday decision, but opened the debate on whether he was superior to the legend. Now he faces the Polish Jan Blachowicz for the title.

On February 8, the coronavirus pandemic had not yet shaken the world and the expansion that still hits so hard was just beginning; But in the world of MMA, a fight split the waters a jolt that brought discussion for weeks.

Back then, the light heavyweight champion, the legend Jon Jones whom many of the fans consider the best of all within the Octagon, he beat the then undefeated in 12 fights Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision of the judges.

But those cards opened the debate in the world of MMA: Was he really more than his rival? Many saw the winner in the five rounds to the one of Latino descent.

The truth is that the judges do not, and the champion “Bones“He reigned again and made one more defense. But the controversy settled, and Reyes was left without his undefeated. Now, he will again have the chance to be crowned champion against the tough Pole Jan Blachowicz for the title left by Bacchante Jones when he moved up the weight class.

The fight will be the co-feature of the UFC 253 event next Saturday, which has as its main attraction the clash of the middleweight champion, the undefeated Nigerian Israel Adesanya, and the also undefeated, the Brazilian Paulo “Rubber” Costa.

That evening will be the return of the UFC to its Fight Island de Abu Dhabi, where there will be four other events on October 3, 10, 17 and 24, the latter being highly anticipated for the return of Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Russian will defend the light belt at UFC 254 against him knockout Justin Gaethje.

Reyes spoke with Clarion before the title fight on how he feels heading into the match and what it felt like to lose undefeated: “Nobody likes it“.

– Many people saw you as the winner against Jon Jones. The truth is that the cards do not, so you lost your undefeated. How do you feel about it now and how quickly do you get a title shot again?

– Officially I lost, yeah. Losing is not good. But I got a lot of respect from a lot of people, from a lot of fans. In fact, I gained a lot of respect for myself.I did something no one else has done and I fought Jon Jones I really enjoyed doing it and I really enjoyed it very much. With that I showed that I am ready to face anyone in the world. Losing undefeated sucks but it is what it is.

– What should you watch out for inside the Blachowicz Octagon?

– He is a good fighter, very tough, sharp and very fast. He’s the kind of guy who gets tougher and stronger as he gets older and that’s very impressive. But like I said, I feel like I’m better, and this is the opportunity to show who really is the best. The 27th.

– How did you see the evenings without an audience in a pandemic and how do you think that will turn out?

– It was interesting to watch it on television, you know. It’s kind of weird in my opinion. But … how do I feel about it? It is what it is. I’m not exactly happy about it, I love the crowd.

I don’t know if you ever saw a fight live, but there is nothing in the world quite like a UFC event. There is a lot of energy, the electricity that is felt in the sand, in general one is motivated by that electricity. But the belt is motivation enough for me.

– What do you think of MMA in Latin America?

– I think they are growing a little more day by day. The boys already see that it is possible to succeed without being from a big city or a specific country or a gym in particular, it doesn’t matter if you are from a small town, the important thing is hard work, dedication.

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