UFC 253: Dominick Reyes “Righting a Wrong” in “First Title Defense” This Weekend

Dominick Reyes says he will be “righting a wrong” this weekend at UFC 253. There, he’ll take on Jan Blachowicz, with the vacant UFC light heavyweight title on the line.

Reyes (12-1) suffered the first defeat of his career when he fell to Jon Jones earlier this year. That title fight, at UFC 247, was ruled a unanimous decision for “Bones” — but as is often the case, the scorecards don’t tell the full tale.

Many saw Reyes winning the fight. That’s clearly how he sees it as well. Jones has since vacated the title for heavyweight. With the UFC touching down on Fight Island, Reyes spoke at a UFC 253 virtual media day on Wednesday, admitting that he has “a little bit of a chip on my shoulder from that fight.”

Simply put, he added that “I feel like this is my first title defense.”

Beyond that, Reyes noted that “I’m extremely excited about this moment. It’s the biggest fight of my life. An opportunity to cement it forever that I’m the world’s light heavyweight champion. At this moment in time I’ll be the best light heavyweight in the world. No one can ever take that away from me.”

And if he is successful, the goal is essentially to do what few others have ever done: “My goal is to be champion for the rest of my career, and retire on top,” said Reyes. “That’s everybody’s dream.”

He’d be in a rather exclusive club if that’s the case. Right now, membership essentially sits at one.

Reyes noted, however, that it’s up to himself to define his legacy. That opportunity starts this weekend, with the fight against Jan Blacowicz on Fight Island. In the larger octagon, thankfully.

“The larger cage is what I normally fight in,” replied Reyes, when asked about the difference between the Island and the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “I’ve never fought in the smaller cage. My fighting style is movement based.”

Watch the full UFC 253 virtual media day interview with Dominick Reyes above.