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Dominick Reyes returns against Ryan Spann at UFC 281 in New York City

Dominick Reyes Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting

Dominick Reyes will make his long-awaited return to action against Ryan Spann in a light heavyweight showdown scheduled for UFC 281 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Monday. MMA Junkie initially reported the matchup.

Long considered a potential champion at 205 pounds, Reyes will make his first appearance in the UFC since 2021, when he suffered a knockout loss to Jiri Prochazka in a wild back-and-forth war. That fight served as Reyes’ third loss in a row after he fell to Jan Blachowicz and Jon Jones in back-to-back title bouts.

Prior to those losses, Reyes had won the first 12 fights of his career with an unblemished UFC record that included victories over Chris Weidman, Jared Cannonier and Volkan Oezdemir.

Now, Reyes returns to begin his climb back up the ladder at light heavyweight.

As for Spann, he’ll get a huge opportunity to take a step up in competition as he looks to build on his latest win over Ion Cutelaba in May. Overall, he’s gone 2-2 in his past four fights including an additional win over Misha Cirkunov while losing bouts to Anthony Smith and Johnny Walker.

UFC 281 is headlined by UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira in a five-round main event.

Mike Heck contributed to this report.

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