Exclusive – Ex-UFC Title Challenger Dominick Reyes Discusses Battle with Life-Threatening Blood Clots, Potential Retirement

Reyes discovered he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis, a potentially life-threatening condition

Dominick Reyes
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Two-time UFC title challenger Dominick Reyes opened up about the injury that currently has him sidelined for the foreseeable future. 

‘The Devastator’ was scheduled to return to the Octagon at UFC 297 in Toronto for a clash with streaking light heavyweight stand Carlos Ulberg. Unfortunately, the bout was scrubbed from the card after Ulberg withdrew due to an injury. The contest was tentatively rescheduled for a Fight Night event on March 30, but Reyes was forced to bow out of that after discovering that he had a series of life-threatening blood clots in his calf. 

“Carlos and I were slated to fight on January 20,” Reyes said in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview with James Lynch. “He pulled out. I don’t know why. An injury, obviously, but he’s not going to say what his injury is. And then a week later, I ended up getting blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis so I’m gonna be out for a minute.”

He continued, “I’m lucky to be alive. We caught it early so it didn’t become a pulmonary embolism and thank God for that which is kind of crazy because I got a massage while my leg was hurting. I thought I pulled a muscle so I got a massage and that’s the worst thing you could ever do. I’m lucky I didn’t die on that massage table right there.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, “deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body, usually in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling. Sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms. The clots can then travel through the bloodstream and get stuck in the lungs, blocking blood flow and causing a pulmonary embolism.” 

Missing Out on UFC 299 Was Especially Frustrating for Dominick Reyes

Dominick Reyes was understandably disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to fight in Canada last month, but he’s excited to see his close friend, Alonzo Menifield, in action when he steps into fight Carlos Ulberg at UFC Atlantic City later this year.

“I really wanted to fight in Canada,” Reyes admits. “I know I have a lot of Canadian fans. I have a lot of love for Canada. I mean, I have a lot of love for everybody in the world that is a good person, works hard, and is about it, but yeah, I was definitely disappointed. January 20th didn’t happen. I don’t know what happened with Carlos, but he’s going to be fighting on March 30 against Alonzo [Menifield] so good luck to Alonzo. That’s one of my good friends.”

After winning his first 12 professional MMA fights, Reyes has hit a rough patch in recent years, dropping four straight. However, it should be noted that those four losses came against some pretty stiff competition, including Jon Jones, Jan Blachowicz, Jiri Prochazka, and Ryan Spann. 

Given his struggles inside the Octagon and the recent injury, Lynch was compelled to ask Reyes if he has contemplated retiring from the sport.

“No. I’m not ready to retire at all,” Reyes said. “Like I said to everyone else, the difference between me and most other fighters is that my faults happened on the world stage while everyone else was paying attention. I didn’t lose in the regional circuit. I didn’t make those mistakes in the regional circuit where nobody saw it. My mistakes happen in front of the whole world. 

“It’s the same thing as other guys who are 20-3 or 20-6. They lost at some point. It just wasn’t public like my losses were.” 

Watch the full exclusive interview below:

Published on February 1, 2024 at 7:42 pm
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