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Zachary Reese Dedicates First UFC Victory to Late Brother



The moment Zachary Reese earned his first Ultimate Fighting Championship victory on Saturday, he remembered his late brother Austin, who had pushed him toward this journey.

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Having grown up watching the UFC, Reese has been dreaming of being a fighter since high school. “Savage” started his pro career with six consecutive first round finishes — including one on Dana White's Contender Series last year to earn his UFC contract. However, Reese’s hype train was derailed in his promotional debut by a first-round knockout loss against Cody Brundage at UFC Austin in December 2023.

Reese returned to the win column on Saturday with a 20-second knockout of Julian Marquez at UFC on ESPN 57.

“I feel like a million bucks man,” Reese said in a backstage interview with the UFC. “I’m just like all you fans, when I was in high school I used to beg my parents for pay-per-view money or we’d go to Buffalo Wild Wings when we couldn’t scrounge up the bucks. And yeah, it’s been a dream of mine to be in the UFC, since I was in high school and sure here I am, all these years later I got my first win, feels amazing man.”

Reese dedicated the win to his brother, who motivated him to take up MMA as a career when they were both working in the oil fields. Austin Reese was killed in a hit-and-run accident in December 2021.

“I thought about my brother in that moment,” he said. “You know my brother was the one that really pushed. We always watched the UFC together, and he always pushed me. We were working in the oil fields together making decent money, he’s like, ‘Quit your job, go f—ing try to be a UFC fighter.’ And that’s what I did and sure here we were. Yeah, this one’s for you Austin, I love you man. Definitely gonna drink a few beers tonight for you.”

Having been a fan himself, Reese doesn’t like boring fighters and vows to never become one.

“I hope the fans will resonate with my style bro, because I grew up a fan and I hate boring fighters,” he said. “And I’ll never be a boring fighter. I’ll die before I’m in a boring fight.”
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