“I changed everything in order to try to get to the next level, but after the Jones fight, I was like, I need to do more, I need to change this and that to be better and be on the next level and be able to finish him,” Reyes said. “And I did too much. I broke myself down completely and started over again instead of continuing. I changed my entire way I fight and what makes me special and all of a sudden was trying to be a pressure, pocket fighter and that’s not me.”
It’s not an easy 12 months to re-live over and over again, especially when he return in a main event this Saturday against Jiri Prochazka. But Reyes is a pro and he does it. And he owns what happened at UFC 253.
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“It’s not difficult,” he said. “I’m okay with what happened because it’s my fault. I’m fine being accountable for it. In hindsight, I messed up and made several decisions that I shouldn’t have made. The main decision being fighting a fight I didn’t want to fight from the beginning. You don’t fight when you don’t want to fight. I was fighting just for the belt and not because I was ready to fight or wanted to fight.”
But he fought anyway, because that’s what he does. On Saturday, he’ll make the walk again, but this time, the feelings are different than they were the last time.
“It sucks when you have to dread something that you used to love, and that’s what happened last fight,” Reyes said. “And this fight, I’m so excited to get back in there. I have the love for it again, I enjoy being in that danger…I’m excited about it.”
Some people have an odd way of having fun. Reyes laughs, but he doesn’t back down in admitting that there’s no place he’d rather be on Saturday than in the APEX throwing hands with Prochazka.