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Ryan Spann had the opportunity to make a big statement to the light heavyweight division when he faced Dominick Reyes on Saturday’s UFC 281 prelims. Spann made sure that message came through loud and clear, scoring a first-round knockout in less than 90 seconds.

Spann landed some early shots that seemed to get the attention of Reyes, but Reyes seemed content to continue to engage in a striking battle. That quickly proved to be a bad idea because a thudding left from Spann put Reyes to sleep at the 1:20 mark of Round 1.

The win gave Spann back-to-back victories and put him on the fringes of title contention at 205 pounds. After the fight, Spann attributed his success to actually preparing for fights at the highest level for the first time in his career.

“I trained,” Spann said during his post-fight interview. “I literally trained. I’ve never trained for a fight before. … No sir, nothing over three weeks.”

It has been a rapid fall for Reyes. Once considered the UFC’s uncrowned light heavyweight champion after losing a controversial decision to then-champion Jon Jones. Reyes then lost a fight for the vacant title when he suffered a TKO defeat to Jan Blachowicz. A knockout loss to Jiri Prochazka followed before Saturday’s brutal loss.

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