Dominick Reyes didn’t have the best 2020.
While he received plaudits for pushing Jon Jones to the limit in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 247 — which many observers felt he won — he ultimately lost a unanimous decision and suffered his first professional loss in the process.
The last few months have naturally been tough for “The Devastator” who revealed that he went to a dark place following his defeat to Blachowicz.
That said, he sees it as a blessing in disguise ahead of his UFC Vegas 25 headliner against Jiri Prochazka.
“Second loss, first time ever being beaten,” Reyes said at media day (via MMA Junkie). “It was tough. It was a lot of soul searching, a lot of examining my camp, examining myself, examining my mindset. Yeah, it sucked, but it was a blessing in disguise because I was able to get back to what makes me, me. I was able to get excited again about fighting and enjoying the whole process of everything.
“… I realized how much toxicity is out there, and I let it seep into me, previously. It was just a learning lesson, you know? But then also, I did go dark. I went to that dark place and really examined myself and everything around me and really, really took a good look at things from a realistic point of view, and then I found the light, and now I’m back.”
Things won’t be any easier as Prochazka — a former RIZIN champion — is a finishing machine who enjoyed an emphatic debut by knocking Volkan Oezdemir out last year.
However, Reyes is excited for the opportunity to face him and get all the hype back with a decisive result.
“He was smart not coming to the UFC earlier because his skills weren’t developed,” Reyes added. “I still think they’re not good enough to beat me, so we’ll see. We’re going to see.
“I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s one of those things where this guy has all the hype that I once had, and it’s an opportunity for me to get it all back.”