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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Segura

Dominick Reyes optimistic despite UFC 281 KO loss: ‘I’ll be back’

Dominick Reyes is staying positive despite going through a rough patch in his career.

The former UFC title challenger suffered a first-round knockout loss in his return to the octagon Saturday at UFC 281. Reyes (12-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) was knocked out in vicious fashion just 80 seconds into his light heavyweight bout with Ryan Spann (21-7 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

The KO loss put Reyes on a four-fight skid. The most recent three defeats have come by stoppage. But the 32-year-old is keeping positive and vows to come back.

“I was hungry to get my hand raised and rushed the fight,” Reyes wrote on Instagram. “I’m OK, 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, Upgrade Management). … I’ll be back to shake it off and get back in there. Big thank you to the (UFC, Dana White, The Garden) for the opportunity. The energy was amazing last night, and it felt great to be in the arena again.”

Reyes’ most recent UFC win came in October 2019 when he knocked out former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The win earned him a shot at then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. He lost that title shot in a controversial decision.

UFC president Dana White was surprised to see Reyes in this form since not long ago he was championship material. He’s unsure of what may come next for Reyes.

“I don’t know right now,” White said. “I think first and foremost, we have to see what he wants to do. What does he want to do and where is he at mentally and what is he thinking?”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 281.

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