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UFC fighter Dominick Reyes ‘lucky to be alive’ after suffering from blood clots

UFC light-heavyweight Dominick Reyes has said he is “lucky to be alive” after suffering from blood clots in his leg.

Reyes challenged for the light-heavyweight title in 2020, famously losing a controversial decision to divisional great Jon Jones. That result was the first loss of Reyes’s professional career and kickstarted an ongoing, four-fight losing streak – with his other three defeats coming via knockout.

American Reyes was hoping to get back to winning ways against Carlos Ulberg in January, but the latter withdrew from the fight – seemingly due to injury. One week later, Reyes realised he had an injury of his own.

“God puts us through some trials, man. I’m having another hard go right now,” Reyes told Middle Easy on Thursday (1 February).

“Me and Carlos were slated to fight 20 January. He pulled out, I don’t know why; it was an injury obviously, but he’s not gonna say what his injury is. Then a week later, I ended up getting blood clots – deep vein thrombosis.

“So yeah, I’m out for a minute. I’m lucky to be alive right now, that’s always nice. We caught it early, right, so it didn’t become a pulmonary embolism, and thank God for that.

“It’s kind of crazy because I got a massage. My leg was hurting, I thought I pulled a muscle in my calf, 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.

“It’s gut-wrenching. This is definitely a tough situation. I’m out for a minimum of three months because of blood thinners [...] I was so f***ing ready, dude.”

Reyes in 2020, after losing a controversial decision against Jon Jones (Getty Images)
Reyes in 2020, after losing a controversial decision against Jon Jones (Getty Images)

Reyes, 34, last fought in November 2022, suffering a first-round knockout by Ryan Spann. There was speculation that Reyes’s cancelled fight with Ulberg could be rescheduled for 30 March, but Ulberg is now due to face Alonzo Menifield on that date.

“It sucks, man,” Reyes continued. “I went from the best shape of my life [...] to now. I can’t work out, can’t run, can’t do nothing. I’m working out slowly; I have a trainer out in Florida, helping me out a lot with rebuilding.

“I had all this muscle and everything, and then everything overnight... gone, all my leg strength. I have to build it all up, start from the beginning. It’s daunting, man.”