Noche UFC: After Six Years Away, Alex Reyes Wants to “Pick Up Where I Left Off”

It has been six years since we last saw Alex Reyes inside the octagon. Six long years since the lightweight moved up a weight class to face Mike Perry in his promotional debut.

A lot has changed in the years since. Perry is no longer with the UFC, and is better known these days as a star for BKFC, a bareknuckle boxing outfit that didn’t exist in 2017. Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title more than once, vacated the belt, stepped away from fighting, then returned to win heavyweight gold — all in the time since Reyes last fought.

Heck, Georges St-Pierre hadn’t even won the UFC middleweight title yet when Reyes faced Perry in September 2017. But the long dry spell ends at Noche UFC this Saturday, where Reyes, with the likes of Brandon Moreno in his corner, returns against Charlie Campbell.

As to where he’s been and what he’s been up to, “I’ve been recovering. Recovering and rebuilding,” Reyes (13-3) told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “It’s been a long tough journey. I’m just blessed and fortunate to be able to be in this position, and able to compete at the highest level of the sport and pursue my dream and my passion. Get back on that horse.”

The culprit behind Reyes extended absence was a spinal infection, stemming from E. coli bacteria being introduced into the body during a stem cell injection. There was a chance he might never fight again, but those days are long past for Reyes.

“All clear, all good to go. Honestly I’ve not had any issues,” Reyes said about where his health is less than a week out from the fight. With that in mind, Reyes is feeling good and “excited to get back in there and pick up where I left off.”

Asked how his style matches up with opponent Campbell, Reyes said that “I’m honestly really comfortable everywhere. All of my fights are by finish. I go in there to finish fights. I’m not a boring fighter, I’m not looking for a decision. I’m looking to finish you and put you way.”

“I’ve got nine knockouts and four submissions. So I’m really comfortable everywhere. If he wants to stand and trade and go kick for kick, let’s go. If he wants to get on the ground and wrestle and grapple, let’s go. Either way. I’m going to find that mistake he makes, and I’m going to capitalize on it. And I’m going to put him away like I’ve done with every one of my opponents.”

Should things not go according to plan, however, then “we’re going out on the shield,” added Reyes. “That’s how we do it. We go in there to fight, I’m not going in there to win numbers, to win the judges over, I’m going in there to put somebody away. That’s my plan.”

Watch our full interview with Noche UFC’s Alex Reyes above.