Dominick Reyes celebrates his knockout victory over Joachim Christensen of Denmark in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on June 25, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)" align="center"" />Few prospects can say they’ve had a start to their UFC career that is as impressive as Dominick Reyes. The 28-year-old light heavyweight remains unbeaten in nine fights, and all but one of those wins were all wrapped up before the first round ended.
On top of that, his UFC debut lasted just half a minute before Reyes knocked out Joachim Christensen at Fight Night Oklahoma City in 2017. Now, he finds himself on the biggest card of the year, ready to introduce himself to even more people.
We caught up with Reyes ahead of his fight with Ovince Saint Preux to talk about what he expects from himself, how he’ll handle fighting a UFC veteran and why people shouldn’t take a bathroom break at any point during his fight on October 6.
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One step closer, one day closer, one round closer. Almost time to be a closer. #ufc229 #patience #visualize
A post shared by Dominick Reyes (@domreyes24) on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:16pm PDT
UFC: How do you feel going into this card?
Dominick Reyes: Fantastic. Can’t wait. Biggest fight of my career, biggest fight of my life. Most eyes ever watching me, and that’s just how I like it.
UFC: What’s it like to be on this card, which is probably the biggest card of the year?
DR: So far, business as usual. Fight week responsibilities, just got a couple more interviews, but so far, so good.
UFC: Ovince Saint Preux is a veteran, but where do you think you have the advantage?
DR: I think my advantages come in speed. I think I’m a little more technical as a striker. I feel like I’m more technical as a grappler as well. He’s more brute strength, but I’m strong as well, and I have technique to back it up.
UFC: OSP said some things don’t work against tougher competition. Does that feel like he’s brushing you off and the threat you present?
DR: I think he was just commenting on things not always going your way. His experience has led him to understand that when things don’t go your way, you’ve got to keep going, figure things out, but that’s life as an athlete. Things don’t always go your way, but you got to figure it out.
UFC: How are you a different fighter compared to when you made your UFC debut?
DR: Tremendous. My debut, I almost didn’t take that fight, I didn’t even have a training camp. I had an injured foot. I kicked a guy in the head, yeah it looked great, but my foot was jacked up, so I didn’t really have a training camp for that. I’ve grown, I’ve had full camps, I’ve worked with the PI, I’ve worked with Team Elevation and higher-level guys and moving around and seeing different things. Even though I don’t have the experience in the ring, I’m getting the experience outside the ring and taking all the necessary steps to be on this level that I’m at.
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UFC: If somebody has never seen you fight, how would you describe a Dominick Reyes fight?
DR: It looks like ferocity. Really fast, really strong, and if you blink, you might miss a knockout. Don’t go pee, don’t go make yourself a drink. Show up, sit down, and watch the fight. It’s going to be fun.
UFC: How do you prepare for OSP’s unorthodox attack?
DR: You never know what’s going to come. You dream about, ‘Oh this could happen, this could happen,’ and then you get (in the octagon), you’re like, ‘None of that happened the way I thought it would, but it worked out.’ Basically, you just make yourself a complete martial artist. I work on all aspects of Jiu jitsu. Every submission, I’ve seen. I know how to defend submissions. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know how to grapple and understanding Jiu jitsu and wrestling. That’s where I sit with that stuff.
UFC: In the most perfect scenario, how does your fight go?
DR: Hand raised. That’s perfect for me. But if I could have a perfect dream about it? First-round KO.
Zac Pacleb and Steve Latrell are writers and producers for UFC.com. You can follow them on Twitter @ZacPacleb and @TheUFSteve.