Dominick Reyes has had a very tough year. From almost being the undisputed light heavyweight champion to having three consecutive losses, Reyes seems to be on the worst skid of his career. ESPN's Ariel Helwani summed it up best with this tweet:
Dominick Reyes made his UFC debut in 2017 after amassing a 6-0 pro-MMA record. He continued his dominant run in the world's biggest MMA organization, racking up six consecutive wins to earn a shot at the light heavyweight title.
'The Devastator' put his undefeated record on the line against Jon Jones, one of the most dominant champions the UFC has ever seen. Reyes gave 'Bones' a tough time at UFC 247 but suffered defeat via a controversial decision loss. To this day, many believe Dominick Reyes won that fight. UFC president Dana White himself said in the post-fight press conference that he believed Jon Jones had been beaten.
Following the fight, Dominick Reyes and the MMA community accused Jon Jones of avoiding a rematch. These claims became stronger after Jones vacated his light heavyweight belt to move up to the heavyweight division. Reyes then faced Jan Blachowicz for the vacant belt at UFC 253 and lost via knockout.
At UFC Vegas 25, 'The Devastator' looked to get back to winning ways against Jiri Prochazka but was floored by a spinning elbow that sent him crashing to the canvas. You can't help but feel for Dominick Reyes. It's been a tough road for him, going from 12-0 to 12-3 in his last three outings.
However, all is not lost. Dominick Reyes may have skid further down the rankings, but we believe there are 3 things he needs to do to make his way back to the top of the division:
3) Dominick Reyes needs to improve his defense
'The Devastator' has an incredible set of hands capable of inflicting tremendous damage and an iron chin to go along with it. However, Dominick Reyes seems to take a lot of unnecessary damage every time he steps into the octagon.
While we all love brawls and slug-fests, Reyes needs to incorporate better defense into his game. Not only will this give him a better chance of outlasting and finishing his opponent, but it will ensure more longevity for Reyes' career.
2) 'The Devastator' needs to incorporate more wrestling into his arsenal
Dominick Reyes is a crowd-pleaser. Every time he steps into the octagon, he gives us absolute wars. MMA fans love nothing more than fighters who leave it all on the battlefield, but fighting is as much about the mind as it is about the body.
The reason all-time greats like Jon Jones and GSP have achieved what they have is not only due to excellent striking skills but because of impeccable wrestling. Jon Jones outwrestled an Olympian wrestler like Daniel Cormier. GSP also secured many of his victories owing to perfect takedowns and controlling his opponents on the ground.
If Dominick Reyes truly wishes to make his way back up the rankings and be an all-time great, he needs to incorporate more wrestling into his game. Not only will it help him control his opponents better, but it will also help minimize damage when he gets clipped.
1) Dominick Reyes needs to capitalize better when his opponent is hurt
One of the biggest reasons for Dominick Reyes's loss at UFC Vegas 25 was his inability to capitalize when he hurt Jiri Prochazka. 'The Devastator' had his opponent hurt and wobbling but failed to follow up and close the show.
To Prochazka's credit, he managed to shoot for a takedown very quickly and even escaped out of a guillotine attempt. However, this is a learning experience for Dominick Reyes.
Here's hoping he's able to close the show at his next outing.
Dominick Reyes has all the makings of a potential champion, but he needs a few adjustments to his game. Hopefully, he can make the necessary tweaks and come back stronger than ever.
It is unfortunate to see this man skid from a perfect 12-0 record to 12-3 in three fights, but we're confident he can return with a vengeance.