Dominick Reyes entered UFC 253 with a single loss and exited with two.
In the vacant UFC light heavyweight title fight, which served as the pay-per-view’s co-main event, Reyes (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was finished by strikes by Poland’s Jan Blachowicz.
After the fight, Reyes, who absorbed significant damage to his body and nose in the fight, took to Twitter to voice his disappointment about the past and optimism about the future.
“Well (expletive)! Gotta pull the trigger!!! Nothing left to do but get back up. Congrats to Jan, hell of a performance.#UFC253 #justgettingstarted”
In the first round, Reyes absorbed a big left kick to the body from Blachowicz. The blow left a footprint-like swelling mark, which appeared in rapid fashion. In Round 2, Blachowicz connected with a punch that reconfigured Reyes’ nose. Moments later, Blachowicz landed the series of fight-finishing blows.
Reyes, 30, has lost back-to-back fights. Prior to the loss to Blachowicz (27-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC), Reyes lost a controversial split decision against then-UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 247 in February. The losses are the only two of his professional career.
UFC 253 took place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+. The event kicks off a five-week stretch for the promotion on “Fight Island,” which will conclude with UFC 254 on Oct. 24.