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UFC 247: Dominick Reyes “Learned a Lot” From “Worst Performance” Against Volkan Oezdemir

Dominick Reyes narrowly got by Volkan Oezdemir when they fought, and many people scored the fight for the latter. But recently Reyes outlined what he took away from the tightly contested, battle.

Although some pundits and observers believe Dominick Reyes in fact lost to Volkan Oezdemir last March, the rising light-heavyweight says he learned a lot about himself in their tightly, contested fight.

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Reyes reflects on the “worst performance” of his career

Oezdemir and Reyes were booked to fight at UFC London last March, and at the time, Reyes had gone 4-0 to date in the Octagon. In three of those bouts, Reyes had finished his opponents in the opening round, and in the other, he battled his way to a decision win over Ovince Saint Preux.

Against Oezdemir, however, Reyes took some heavy shots and as noted above, some fans scored the fight for “No Time”. Ultimately Reyes continued his undefeated streak, however, as he was awarded the split decision win.

Well, fast forward to today, and Reyes has been tapped to fight 205 champ Jon Jones at UFC 247 this Saturday. While speaking to the media recently about his fight with Oezdemir, the 30-year-old said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“That was my worst performance of my career”

“I learned that I can fight through adversity,” Reyes added. “I mean, he broke my nose in the first round in four different places with one punch. I was inhaling blood the whole fight. So my cardio went, but my heart didn’t. I have heart. I’m going to fight, man. I learned a lot about myself in terms of my toughness. I had gone pretty much my entire career up to that point without being hit. It’s pretty crazy.”

“I made it to the UFC, and I was fighting Volkan Oezdemir, and I hadn’t really been hit up to that point. I always had a question in the back of my mind like, ‘Can I take a punch? I don’t know if I can take a punch,’” Reyes said. “And that fight answered the questions. I can definitely take a punch. And that made me like, ‘All right, I’m going to be champion.’”

The take on Reyes’ comments?

Whether you think Reyes should have been handed the fight or not, it does sound like the experience was a net positive one for “The Devastator”. Other rising fighters have built on the lessons they learned in losses or in bouts where they were severely pushed. Case in point, it’s interesting to hear that Reyes didn’t feel like his chin had been tested until he faced Oezdemir.

Now, one could question whether Reyes learned from that bout on a tactical level as well. But you would think Reyes and his coaches have examined what went wrong in that fight and adjusted his training. Can Reyes score the massive upset this Saturday, however, and hand Jones his first legitimate defeat?

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