Ryan Spann reveals fight week illness ahead of ‘bittersweet’ knockout of Dominick Reyes at UFC 281

NEW YORK – The UFC light heavyweight division has a new contender ready to knock on the No. 1 contender’s door.

Ryan Spann impressed on the prelims of UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden by knocking out former title challenger Dominick Reyes in the first round. It was a brutal finish that will shine on Spann’s highlight reel, but the moment was tainted by a weight miss by less than a pound, and other issues going on at home.

“It’s bittersweet due to the week that we’ve had, and the penalties that we had to suffer with the point-five, point-six weight miss,” Spann told reporters during the post-fight news conference. “So, it’s a little bittersweet, but it’s alright.”

Spann (21-7 MMA, 7-2 UFC) officially weighed in over the light heavyweight limit at 206.6 pounds. Due to the miss, he was ineligible to win a fight night bonus, which his highlight reel finish of Reyes (12-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) would have been a likely candidate for the award.

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UFC 281's Ryan Spann sees Dominick Reyes as just another opponent

Although Spann says he did everything right during camp to prepare for the fight, and to make weight by working with his nutritionist earlier than usual, an illness threw a wrench in his fight week plans.

“I was sick, I was sick as sh*t,” Spann said. “We had to take a Z-Pak on Sunday, I think. Then when I got here, then I found out Monday my oldest son got sick. Tuesday, my daughter got sick, and Wednesday I got a text saying my (other) son had it. On top of that, I had my Mom and Dad at the house, so we had to go through a lot to try to stay focused and whatnot, but (I put) trust in my team, trust in myself and everyone around me.”

The win over Reyes marked Spann’s second-straight first-round finish, entering on the heels of a submission of Ion Cutelaba in May. The Fortis MMA product has his eyes set on the top of the division. In fact, he wants only the very top, the No. 1 contender.

“Like I said the other day, I’m not the shooter, I’m the bullet,” Spann said. “I want top five – four, three, two, I don’t want.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 281.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie