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Dominick Reyes (10-0) is a light heavyweight pugilist who plies his trade in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In his next appearance, the rising contender will meet Volkan Oezdemir on the main card of UFC Fight Night 147.
As the March 16 event approaches, here are five things that you might not know about the unbeaten Cage Combat Academy team member.
He was a talented football player.After a successful high school gridiron career, Reyes joined Stony Brook University. There he studied for a bachelor’s degree in information systems and represented the Seawolves on the field. On two occasions, the future fighter was selected for the All-Conference team. It was his aspiration to play professional football after graduating from college.
However, his dream turned sour, when Reyes wasn’t offered a try-out by any NFL team. He reflected on this disappointment in an interview saying, “I didn’t understand how you’re not [going to] give a 6’4” safety a look?”
His brother is also on the UFC roster.Older sibling Alexander Reyes (13-3) is a UFC competitor, who usually competes at lightweight. The respected combatant combines his training with being the head instructor and owner of Combat Cage Academy in Victorville, California. In addition to mixed martial arts, the gym offers jiu-jitsu, muay Thai and kickboxing training. This is the facility that younger sibling Dominick calls home.
He is known as “The Devastator.”Although he wrestled as a kid, it was soon evident that it was the striking aspect of combat sports that Reyes had a particular aptitude for. The southpaw has utilized a potent left cross to devastating effect in his nascent career. However, it’s his powerful kicks that initially impressed his siblings and led to them giving him the moniker “The Devastator.” His left high kick has drawn comparisons to the legendary Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Reyes has secured two of his professional triumphs by way of head kick.
He is a determined person.Following graduation and the extinguishing of his football hopes, Reyes would toil day after day in construction jobs, doing 10 to 12 hours shifts. Although he was fatigued at the end of his arduous work, he would always join his older brother Alex for MMA practice at the Combat Cage Academy.
The fledgling fighter was already familiar with the sport, as he had previously trained in his college summer holidays. However, now his football aspirations were over, Reyes concentrated solely on MMA. A mere four years after commencing serious training, he was competing under the bright lights of the UFC.