‘Lucky to be Alive’: UFC Title Challenger Dominick Reyes Cleared to Fight Again

Once one of the most promising UFC light heavyweight prospects, Dominick Reyes is yet to turn his back on professional fighting.

‘The Devastator’ came closest to dethroning Jon Jones in one of the most contentious decisions of 2020. His stock rose incredibly, only to be tanked by a three-fight skid directly afterwards.

75% of fans and 12/17 media members scored Jones vs. Reyes for Reyes -Photo: Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Reyes’ return was originally scheduled for UFC 298, but his opponent Carlos Ulberg pulled out with an injury. The UFC was dead-set on rescheduling the fight for UFC Atlantic City, but it was cancelled again when Reyes withdrew with medical complications.

During an interview with Middle Easy, Reyes revealed he had deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in his leg; which is a potentially life-threatening condition.

“[Ulberg] pulled out, I don’t know why,” Reyes said. “It’s an injury, obviously, but he’s not going to say what his injury is. And then a week later, I ended up getting blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis. So yeah, I’m out for a minute.

“I’m lucky to be alive right now, that’s always nice. We caught it early, so it didn’t become a pulmonary embolism, and thank God for that. Which is kind of crazy because I got a massage. My leg was hurting, and I thought I pulled a muscle in my calf, so I got a massage, and that’s the worst thing you can ever do. I’m lucky I didn’t die on that massage table right there.”

Fans may get to see Reyes compete again, however, as the former title challenger revealed he is cleared to fight in a recent Instagram post:

“Hey everyone, I just got out of my appointment at Victor Valley Imaging and I got a clean bill of health. No evidence of deep vein thrombosis anymore. I’m pretty excited. I just got to finish off these next few days of blood thinners and I’m good to go, 100 percent. Thank you, everybody, for the kind words, the love, and reaching out and everything. Time to get back at it, baby. I’m ready to go.”

In all likelihood, Reyes will be rebooked against Ulberg or another unranked contender. Despite his four-year winless streak, Reyes holds onto the #14 spot at light heavyweight and will probably be sifted out of the rankings with another loss, if not cut altogether.

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Opinion – I Thought Reyes Beat Jones

I watched Jones vs. Reyes live from Bologna on a holiday with my girlfriend. I’d watched Jones vs. Smith and Santos and thought ‘Bones’ would take Reyes seriously enough to put on a clinic.

I distinctly remember saying things like ‘You’re not ready, he’s the best of all time, he’s gonna destroy this guy,’ but I wasn’t ready for the fight I was about to watch. Once the five rounds had concluded, I was almost convinced I’d just witnessed one of the biggest upsets in UFC history; Reyes easily stole three rounds.

Jones won by unanimous decision, and there was a sense of relief knowing that he was still unblemished, but there was an aching feeling that Reyes deserved the win.

Reyes didn’t get his rematch, and Jones moved on to better pastures by taking a three-year break and getting a favourable matchup at heavyweight. MMA doesn’t wait and MMA doesn’t care.