For the first time since 2011, the UFC will have a light heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier. Dominick Reyes (12-1) and Jan Blachowicz (26-8) will battle tomorrow night for the vacant UFC light heavyweight crown.
There hasn’t been much parody in the division since Shogun Rua held the title. After Jon Jones won the belt at UFC 128, the division was ruled by him. The only time the belt changed hands was when Jones’ outside issues stripped him from the title.
In those times, Daniel Cormier led the charge. However, with Cormier retired and Jones moving to heavyweight, it’s a new and exciting day in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. The two top contenders are fighting to lead the charge on this new day.
In addition to this UFC title fight, there is a title eliminator between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera booked for November, and Anthony Rumble Johnson is coming back. Exciting times are ahead for the light heavyweight division.
UFC 253 Prediction
For Dominick Reyes, he’s trying to right the wrong that occurred at UFC 247. In the eyes of many, Reyes did the unthinkable which is beat Jon Jones. However, all three of the judges gave the fight to Jon Jones. There were some debatable rounds, but many thought Reyes won.
A lot of people look at this fight more as a UFC title defense for Reyes versus him challenging to become champion. The uncrowned UFC champion will have his hands full tomorrow night, but he does have the skills to match.
Reyes has been very good since making his debut back in 2017. Outside of a controversial win against Volkan Oezdemir, Reyes has looked relatively dominant in his UFC career. His athletic ability, good/long striking and strength have made him a handful.
Standing across from Reyes tomorrow will be some Polish Power. Also since 2017, Jan Blachowicz has turned the corner in his UFC career. He had one slip up in a TKO loss to Thiago Santos, but outside of that, he’s been very good.
He’s racked up wins over Jared Cannonier, Jimi Manuwa, Nikita Krylov, and Jacare Souza. However, his most impressive victories have been his knockouts over Corey Anderson and former UFC middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold.
Blachowicz will definitely have the power advantage between the two men when they step into the cage for the UFC light heavyweight title tomorrow night. It’s going to be a fantastic fight.
In terms of a prediction, this one is easier for me to predict than the main event. I think Reyes is going to give Blachowicz a lot of issues with his speed. While the reach actually favors Jan, Reyes does a better job of striking from range.
I think Reyes is also going to show much improved cardio over the span of this one. I expect both guys to have their moments throughout the fight, but I think Reyes will do enough to win it on the scorecards. This time, Reyes will walk out of the cage with a UFC title.
Prediction: Dominick Reyes by Unanimous Decision