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Dominick Reyes has his roadmap pretty well laid out for 2019.
The unbeaten light heavyweight plans to take out Volkan Oezdemir in a couple months, win once more after that, then fight for the title by the end of the year. It’s pretty ambitious, to be certain, but he hopes to leave no doubt his next time out.
“It’s all about performance in the UFC,” Reyes told MMAjunkie Radio earlier this week. “You see guys jump over guys all the time. I think that stamp on it is kind of my trademark. I like to have no doubt in the minds of anyone watching that fight that I won that fight.”
Reyes (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) meets Oezdemir (15-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC on ESPN+ 5, which takes place March 16 at The O2 in London. The card streams on ESPN+.
After getting first-round finishes in eight of his first nine pro fights, including his first three in the UFC, Reyes had to go the distance at UFC 229 this past October. He went 15 minutes with former interim title challenger Ovince Saint Preux and won a unanimous decision.
Prior to that, Reyes had a 29-second TKO win over Joachim Christensen in his promotional debut, a first-round rear-naked choke of Jeremy Kimball and a first-round TKO of Jared Cannonier to come out guns blazing in less than a year’s time.
Saint Preux was a big step up in name value for the 29-year old, and Oezdemir keeps him at the same level of higher competition, given he fought Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title a year ago in Boston.
“I think this fight for me is going to be a statement fight,” Reyes said. “I’m going to really come out there and show the division what’s up and show ‘This is a guy you should be worried about.’”
And after he shows the UFC’s 205-pounders what’s up, he believes he’ll be on the path he sees in his head.
“The way I see it is, two more fights and then the title,” Reyes said. “By the end of the year, maybe in December (I will) fight for the title. That seems realistic, to be honest.”
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts live Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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