UFC on ESPN 6: Dominick Reyes believes he will finish Chris Weidman and move on to challenge Jon Jones for title
In a recent interaction with the media, Reyes said that he believes a win against Weidman will earn him a light heavyweight title shot against Jon 'Bones' Jones. (h/t UFC.com)
“That’s the hope, but I can never say with certainty. All I can control is my own performance, so for me, it’s just go out there, perform the way I know I can and let the chips fall where they may.”
Reyes wants to steal the spotlight from Weidman
Although Reyes is unbeaten in his MMA career, the lion's share of the spotlight for the main event is on Weidman and his move to 205 pounds. Reyes believes that “All-American” is in for a rough night on his light heavyweight debut.
“I think he’s not ready to fight guys his size and bigger than him.He’s always fought guys that were significantly smaller in terms of reach and size. His biggest advantage at middleweight was he was bigger than everyone. That’s no longer the case. Now he’s the small guy. He was able to bully some guys and outreach some guys and all those factors that he kind of relied on are in the opposite camp now.”
'The Devastator' is all set for war come Friday
Reyes is prepared to go the full distance on Friday but he is of the view that if things go according to plan, he won’t need that long to subdue Weidman.
“You always gotta prepare for five and you gotta prepare for the worst. I’m gonna prepare for my punches not hurting him, for him to just take it in stride and keep coming. So I’m gonna prepare for the nightmare but, God willing, I knock him out early.”
'The Devastator' is prepared for anything that he may be faced with during the bout. Reyes is fully aware of the fact that in the fight game, things might not always go according to plan. He is no stranger to adversity himself, and his last fight against Volkan Oezdemir, where he picked up a decision win, is proof of the same.
“It’s how you deal with adversity that defines you. So that fight (with Oezdemir) was huge for me. I’m so proud of myself because even though things weren’t going perfectly according to plan and I was dealing with adversity, I still felt powerful, I still felt strong.
"I thought, ‘This is what you want, this is what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna win. Keep fighting. You will be fine. He can’t hurt you.’ My mind and my body, I’m on such another level now. I’ve evolved. And I’m grateful for that because everything going forward right now seems like a walk in the park.”
Adversity breeds a true champion
Reyes believes that the adversity he goes through inside the cage against his opponents is, in the grand scheme of things, only a part of the process of becoming a champion.
“You’ve got to have those battles before you become the champ. I want to be a great champ and I want to be champ for a long time and you gotta face that adversity before you get to the championship fights, so when you’re there, it’s part of the norm. You’re used to it and you know what to expect. No matter what happens, you’re ready to go.”