Ex-UFC title challenger Dominick Reyes relieved to snap skid: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

Dominick Reyes took a huge load off his shoulders Saturday.

The former UFC title challenger snapped a four-fight skid and maybe saved his UFC career when he stopped Dustin Jacoby in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 57 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.

Entering the event, Reyes (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) hadn’t fought in two years due to health issues, and defeating Jacoby (19-9-1 MMA, 7-6-1 UFC) was a must.

“It’s a relief, absolutely,” Reyes told reporters at his post-fight press conference. “When he hit me, that was a relief. I was like, ‘I’m still here.’ I had so many questions, and I was questioning myself, and then I saw my performance, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ I felt it out there. I really do love this, and I’m not going anywhere.”

Reyes aims to make another title run again, but this time become champion. Reyes had a 12-0 to the start of his MMA career before losing to Jon Jones in a very close fight for the light heavyweight title. It was that defeat that sparked the subsequent, three consecutive stoppage losses.

The 34-year-old believes a title will always be in reach at light heavyweight, but it was just about getting back to the win column.

“It’s a little different with my division. You show a couple of good performances, you show the world who you are and do your thing, and you’re right back in the conversation,” Reyes said. “It was never like, ‘Oh, I’m never going back to the title,’ because I know who I am and what I’m capable (of).

“I was just not believing in myself and doubting everything I was doing: ‘I can’t even win a fight, how am I going to go for the title?’ So that wasn’t even in my mind. You just have to win and get back to being you.”

Reyes doesn’t have a specific name or date when it comes to his return to the octagon. He likes the idea of fighting in September at UFC 306, but is not married to any specific thing.

“It’s more about the timing vs. the opponent,” Reyes said. “Obviously, I want to move up and work towards the title again, but we’ll see. I don’t have anybody in mind. If people want to call me out, cool. That gives me more options. They do my manager’s job for me. I have a great manager, I have a great team, and we’ll figure out what’s next.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 57.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie