After disappointing performance at UFC Vegas 50, what’s next for Thiago Santos?

This past weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 50 we saw a battle between two top light heavyweight contenders. Former title challenger Thiago Santos (22-10) was looking to derail the surging Magomed Ankalaev (17-1).

Entering UFC Vegas 50, I thought the fight could go one of two ways. In the first scenario, I saw both men being very technical and a little gun-shy which would lead to a relatively boring fight ending in a decision.

In the second scenario, someone would get clipped and we’d see a TKO finish. Well, we almost got the second one at the hands of Thiago Santos. In the second round, Santos was able to drop and hurt Ankalaev.

However, that was really the only time he had some serious momentum at UFC Vegas 50. For the most part, we saw a technical battle with Magomed Ankalaev getting the better of the striking from the outside. In the end, Ankalaev got the decision win in a rather underwhelming fight.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 50?

For Thiago Santos, this was just another disappointing performance. When Santos first made the jump up to light heavyweight from middleweight, he looked like a destroyer. He even scored a TKO win over Jan Blachowicz.

That led him to a title shot with Jon Jones. However, Santos would completely tear his knee apart in that fight. We haven’t seen the same Thiago Santos in the UFC since the knee injury.

Upon returning from that injury, Santos is now just 1-3 with the lone win coming in another underwhelming fight against Johnny Walker. So, after this latest loss, what is next for the former title challenger.

Honestly, it’s really hard to say what should be next. Perhaps a fight with fellow title challenger Dominick Reyes is in order whenever Reyes returns. That could be something that the UFC looks into with the winner getting back on track while the loser would have to take a long look at their career.

Time will tell, but time is not on Santos’ side. If he wants to make another run towards the UFC title, he needs to turn things around and do it quickly.

Anthony Smith is the UFC’s odd man out at light heavyweight

Anthony Smith

There appears to be an odd man out in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Former title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (36-16) now finds himself in a difficult spot after suffering a recent injury. There were advanced talks to have Smith face Aleksandar Rakic in December.

However, Smith had to pull out of the fight due to knee surgery and the UFC decided to move in a different direction. While the fight with Smith could happen a few months later, the UFC pivoted and booked Rakic in a main event against former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

Smith is currently ranked fourth in the light heavyweight division. The only men above him are Rakic, Jiri Prochazka, Blachowicz, and the champion Glover Teixeira. Jiri Prochazka is expected to face Teixeira for the title sometime during the spring.

This leaves Smith as the odd man out at 205 pounds. Smith said this week that he would be frustrated if the UFC gave Rakic the fight against Blachowicz after Rakic has turned down multiple fights. In the end, the frustration wasn’t enough and the promotion booked that fight anyway.

What does the UFC do with Lionheart?

As mentioned, Smith is currently working his way back from a staff infection and knee surgery. Smith told MMA Fighting this week that he would be frustrated that he wouldn’t get the fight with Blachowicz after Rakic has turned down multiple fights while Smith has turned into a gate keeper.

Smith took on up and coming contenders and dominated three of them in his last three fights. Those wins snapped a losing streak which featured a loss to Rakic. The UFC likely gave Rakic the nod due to the fact that he won a head to head battle with Smith. Nevertheless, Smith has a point about Rakic’s inactivity.

The next two guys behind Smith, Magomed Ankalaev and Thiago Santos, are booked to face each other in March. Those two would make the most sense for Smith, but now the only fight out there for him might be a battle against a fellow former UFC title challenger.

In looking at the division, the only opponent that makes real sense is Dominick Reyes (12-3). Reyes has been taking some time off after suffering three straight defeats. Granted, two losses came in title fights and one came in a title eliminator against Jiri Prochazka.

Reyes is likely going to be looking for an opponent soon and Smith needs one. On paper, one might wonder why someone with three straight losses would fight someone with three straight wins. Simply put, these are the two best guys not booked in the top ten, and it would be a great fight.

Time will tell what the UFC decides to do. Perhaps Smith becomes the alternate for the title fight with Prochazka and Teixeira. Nevertheless, he’s in a very tough spot and is likely going to be in limbo for the short term.

After huge knockout win at UFC Vegas 25, what’s next for Jiri Prochazka?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 25, we saw a big time matchup in the light heavyweight division. Top contenders Dominick Reyes (12-3) and Jiri Prochazka (28-3-1) went head-to-head.

Dana White had said earlier in the week that the winner of this matchup would be the number one contender in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. Of course, number one behind Glover Teixeira who’s scheduled to fight the champion Jan Blachowicz in September.

Reyes was coming off of back-to-back title fights where he came up short in both. However, there’s no questioning that Reyes is at the top of the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. Jiri Prochazka made his octagon debut last July on Fight Island.

There was a lot of mystique surrounding Prochazka. Out of 26 professional wins, 23 were by knockout. He immediately showed off his talent at UFC 251 by knocking former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir out cold in the second round.

Prochazka was looking to continue that momentum on Saturday night and he didn’t disappoint. UFC Vegas 25‘s main event was incredibly fun and Prochazka fought like an avalanche. He just kept coming after Reyes looking for the finish.

In the second round, Reyes caught him flush and Prochazka had to shoot for a takedown. However, after he recovered and there was a scramble, Prochazka landed a savage spinning back elbow to knock Reyes out cold.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?

There is no doubting the fact that Prochazka should be getting the next UFC title shot after Teixeira. The one frustrating part for Prochazka is the layoff that goes along with waiting for the next shot.

As mentioned, the title fight isn’t even scheduled until September. That would mean that Prochazka would not get his title shot until the very end of this year or early next year.

With that, what does Prochazka and the UFC do? Of course, he can choose to sit out and get the title shot. However, there is one fight that Prochazka has said he’s interested in that the UFC could put on in the interim.

That fight would be pairing Prochazka with Aleksandar Rakic (14-2). Rakic is ranked third in the light heavyweight division while Prochazka is ranked second. He’s 6-1 in the UFC and he’s also knocking on the door of a title shot. Perhaps the promotion books a title eliminator between the two men.

After brutal knockout loss at UFC Vegas 25, what’s next for Dominick Reyes?

Dominick Reyes

In the main event of UFC Vegas 25, we got to see a matchup between top light heavyweight contenders. Former two-time title challenger Dominick Reyes (12-3) was taking on Jiri Prochazka (28-3-1).

In early 2020, Reyes fought Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. The fight was incredibly close and many people believe Reyes won. However, all three judges gave the fight to Jones.

Had Reyes had won that decision, he would’ve been 13-0 having just knocked off the greatest of all time. Instead, he was left in frustration as he waited what was next. After Jones vacated the title, the UFC put Reyes in the next title fight.

At UFC 253, Reyes fought Jan Blachowicz for the vacant title. Reyes was a sizeable favorite going into the matchup, but he had no answer for the Polish Power. Blachowicz was able to stop Reyes to become the light heavyweight champion.

Now, Reyes has gone from being potentially 13-0 to looking at a three-fight losing streak if he was to lose to Prochazka at UFC Vegas 25. Well, that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night.

Prochazka was an animal in attacking Reyes on the feet. He hurt Dominick Reyes multiple times badly, however, Reyes wouldn’t back down. In the second round, Reyes actually hurt Prochazka badly enough to force him to shoot for a takedown.

However, Prochazka was still getting the better of the exchanges. Then, near the end of the second round, Prochazka landed a beautiful spinning elbow that put Reyes out cold. Reyes has now gone from his greatest high at UFC 247 to losing three straight.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?

In reality, having Reyes fight Prochazka at UFC Vegas 25 was a really tough ask. In my opinion, Reyes should have fought someone a little lower to get back in the swing of things having lost two in a row.

However, that’s not the way the UFC does business. Yes, Reyes is on a three-fight losing streak, but given the caliber of opponents, I’m not expecting a big drop in the rankings tomorrow.

So who should the UFC pair him with next? In my opinion, the perfect fight for Reyes would be a rematch with Volkan Oezdemir (17-5). Oezdemir and Reyes fought back in 2019 with Reyes taking a split decision.

However, many believe that Oezdemir won the fight. Like Reyes, Oezdemir is also coming off a knockout loss to Jiri Prochazka. Reyes is going to need some time off, but when he is ready to return, I like Oezdemir as a matchup.

UFC Vegas 25 Results: Jiri Prochazka knocks Dominick Reyes out with a spinning back elbow

In the main event of UFC Vegas 25, we saw a pivotal matchup in the light heavyweight division. Former two-time title challenger Dominick Reyes (12-2) took on the surging contender Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1).

Dominick Reyes was looking to snap his two-fight losing streak tonight. Reyes started his career a perfect 12-0 including starting his UFC career out 5-0. That start earned Reyes a shot at Jon Jones.

It was a razor close fight, but Jones got the decision to retain his UFC light heavyweight title. After Jones vacated the title to move to heavyweight, Reyes got another shot at the light heavyweight title against Jan Blachowicz.

However, this time Reyes got finished in the second round. After a perfect start to his career, Reyes was at risk of dropping his third straight tonight. The man who was trying to hand Reyes his third straight loss was Jiri Prochazka.

Prochazka was making just his second UFC appearance. He made his debut back on Fight Island in July when he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round. That win was his 11th straight victory. Prochazka was looking to make it 12 in a row at UFC Vegas 25.

UFC Vegas 25 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 25 main event started with a touch of the gloves. Reyes immediately pressed forward with a little pressure. Prochazka was hanging his hands low and he eats a couple of kicks from Dominick Reyes.

Reyes lands a nasty body kick on Prochazka. Prochazka throws a unique combination that seems to stagger Reyes briefly. However, Reyes counters with his own combination. A huge left lands for Reyes and Prochazka smiles.

Prochazka then lands his own big shot and it staggers Reyes. However, Reyes recovers quickly. Reyes gets a body lock and he’s able to land a takedown, but Prochazka explodes back up.

Prochazka hurts Reyes badly on the feet and he’s hunting the knockout. Reyes is swinging massive shots back which seems to slow the attack. Tons of pressure from Prochazka, but Reyes is game.

These two are just throwing bombs at each other late in the first. Insane pace from the light heavyweights. Beautiful combination from Jiri Prochazka to ends the round. 1-0 Prochazka after one at UFC Vegas 25.

Round 2

Reyes was really wearing that first round heading into the second here at UFC Vegas 25. Both men touch gloves and Reyes pushes forward with a combination. A stinging jab lands for Prochazka.

The pace slows as both men appear and Prochazka starts pressuring Reyes. Big combination lands for Dominick Reyes, but when he lands, Prochazka charges with his own big combination.

Massive shots for both men. Prochazka chases and Reyes lands a nice back hand. However, Prochazka hurts Reyes badly and he starts mixing it up. Reyes looks really staggered here, but out of no where Reyes hurts Prochazka badly.

Prochazka shoots for a takedown and Reyes locks in a guillotine choke. It’s deep and Reyes is squeezing. However, Prochazka pops his head out with one minute left. Prochazka starts working the ground and pound.

Reyes explodes up to his feet and these two start throwing bombs again. Spinning back elbow from Prochazka and Reyes is out cold. Massive win and Prochazka is a problem for the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Jiri Prochazka def. Dominick Reyes by KO – Round 2

UFC Vegas 25 Preview: Dominick Reyes – Jiri Prochazka

Dominick Reyes

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 25, we will see a light heavyweight showdown between top five contenders. Former two-time title challenger Dominick Reyes (12-2) will taking on Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1).

For Reyes, he will be looking to snap a two-fight losing streak. Reyes made his UFC debut back in 2017 and immediately won five fights in a row and he did it against impressive competition. Some of the names included: Chris Weidman, Volkan Oezdemir, OSP, and Jared Cannonier.

Those wins earned Reyes a shot at Jon Jones at UFC 247. The fight was razor close with many believing that Reyes beat the UFC‘s all time great. However, the judges gave the fight to Jon Jones.

After Jones vacated the light heavyweight title, Reyes got another shot at UFC 253 against Jan Blachowicz. This time, Reyes came up short, but he was finished leaving no doubts. Reyes has gone from feeling like the uncrowned champion to starting down the barrel at a three-fight losing streak.

The man who can make that losing streak a reality is Jiri Prochazka. Prochazka made his UFC debut back in July of 2020 against Volkan Oezdemir. He knocked Oezdemir out cold in the second round which was his eleventh straight win.

Prochazka is a very unique fighter with incredibly odd but effective standup. Out of his 27 career wins, 24 have come via knockout. He could be the next big thing in the UFC and he plans on showing that tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 25 Prediction

I’m very intrigued by this main event at UFC Vegas 25. While incredibly unorthodox, Jiri Prochazka’s standup can give Dominick Reyes a lot of issues tomorrow. Prochazka has very good feints, unique movement, and a ton of power.

It will be on Reyes tomorrow to try and pick up on patterns in order to get his shots off. When Reyes was on the rise, we saw him use good straight lefts and a lot of kicks. He’s going to need to do that tomorrow night.

Reyes needs to keep things clean and down the middle. I’d like to see him utilize some body kicks and really look to land straight lefts. However, they won’t be easy to land with someone who moves like Prochazka.

I still firmly believe Dominick Reyes is one of the best light heavyweights in the world. However, I really don’t like this matchup for him. Prochazka is very long and he strikes from such odd angles. I think Reyes is going to be much more hittable than Prochazka tomorrow night.

In making a prediction, i think Prochazka is going to get the win at UFC Vegas 25. If Reyes wins, it’s going to be by staying patient and staying straight with the shots. However, I think the head movement and  wild yet effective striking of Prochazka wins out in a big way tomorrow night.

Prediction: Jiri Prochazka by TKO – Round 3

Aleksandar Rakic believes he’s the new face of light heavyweight after UFC 259

This past Saturday at UFC 259, top four light heavyweight contenders kicked off the main card. Former title challenger Thiago Santos (21-9) took on Aleksandar Rakic (14-2). Both men were looking to take another step towards the UFC‘s light heavyweight title.

The expectation going into this fight was that it was going to be a fire fight. Both men possessed knockout power and both had highlight finishes inside the octagon. However, that isn’t the fight we got on Saturday night.

The fight was incredibly slow and featured Rakic just picking his shots from the outside. There were a few times where power shots were thrown, however, nothing serious ever landed. Neither man was in trouble at UFC 259.

In the end, Aleksandar Rakic had his hand raised by unanimous decision. After the fight was over, Rakic went over to Dana White’s table and told him that he was the new face of the UFC‘s light heavyweight division. Is that the case?

What’s next after UFC 259?

I will give Aleksandar Rakic this, he’s been sensational since joining the UFC. Since making his debut with the promotion back in 2017, Rakic has gone 6-1 inside the octagon. The only time he lost was to Volkan Oezdemir by split decision.

However, it’s worth noting that the vast majority of people believe that Rakic won the fight against Oezdemir. You could very well make the case that Rakic is unbeaten in the UFC. Rakic has all the makings of a future champion at 205.

He’s got the size, strength, and the skills to make it happen. We’ve seen him show off great kickboxing and we’ve also seen him show off decent skills on the ground. However, his last three fights have failed to wow fight fans.

With that, we know that Rakic is not getting the next UFC title shot. That shot belongs to Glover Teixeira. So with that, where does Rakic go from here? I think where we go from here is we look at the upcoming light heavyweight matchup in May.

Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka will fight in May. Whoever wins that fight would matchup up perfectly with Rakic for a title eliminator. Based on rumblings in the background, it appears that the UFC is heading in this direction and that potential title eliminator should be a lot of fun to watch.

UFC rebooks Dominick Reyes – Jiri Prochazka

Dominick Reyes

Later this month, the UFC was scheduled to have a fight night headlined by a light heavyweight matchup between Dominick Reyes (12-2) and Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1). With the upcoming light heavyweight title fight at UFC 259 in March, this fight was huge for the division.

However, Reyes sustained an injury and the fight was called off. The UFC wanted to keep this matchup together so they didn’t even entertain a potential new opponent for Prochazka. Instead, they began to work on a new date that would work with Reyes’ recovery.

Well, today we learned when that fight will take place. MMA Fighting was the first to report that the UFC has booked the fight between Prochazka and Reyes for a new date. The light heavyweight matchup will now take place on May 1st.

Given the new timeline, this could actually be more beneficial for the winner in terms of getting a title shot. Glover Teixeira (32-7) is number one contender in the light heavyweight division. He’s been told that he’s getting the next title shot after UFC 259.

Depending on how the fight goes in a few weeks, Teixeira might be getting his shot over the summer. That would line up perfectly for the winner of the Reyes – Prochazka fight. I could definitely see the winner being the UFC‘s top contender after Glover Teixeira.

UFC title eliminator?

Prochazka made his UFC debut back on Fight Island in July. He took on former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir. Prochazka showed off his entertaining style and knocked Oezdemir out cold in the second round of their fight.

He’s only lost one time since 2013 and he looks like he can be a force in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. 2020 was a very tough year for Dominick Reyes. He started out the year by taking on Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.

The fight was razor close and many believed Reyes defeated the pound-for-pound king. However, the judges gave the fight to Jones. Then, Reyes got another title opportunity against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 253. Reyes got knocked out in the second round of that fight.

After starting his career 12-0, Reyes has now lost two-straight. He has a very difficult puzzle in front of him on May 1st. When these two fight, Reyes will either show he’s still one of the best or Jiri Prochazka will show everyone that he’s the real deal.

UFC Update: Injury to Dominick Reyes pushes back the Jiri Prochazka fight

Dominick Reyes

A massive fight in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division is being pushed back. First reported by Farah Hannoun, the fight between Dominick Reyes (12-2) and Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1) is off. There are reports circulating this morning saying that a Reyes injury forced the fight back.

Originally, this fight was supposed to headline the UFC‘s fight night on February 27th. However, yesterday a tweet from Jairzinho Rozenstruik signaled that the fight might be in jeopardy. We now know that Rozenstruik – Ciryl Gane is going to headline the 2/27 card. 

At this time, there is no word on the significance of the injury to Dominick Reyes. Reyes was looking to bounce back in 2021 after having a very tough 2020. Dominick Reyes fought Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) last February at UFC 247.

The fight was razor close and many believed that Reyes won the fight. However, the judges gave the fight to Jon Jones. After that fight, Jones would ultimately decide to vacate the light heavyweight title to pursue the heavyweight title.

At UFC 253, Reyes got another opportunity against Jan Blachowicz (27-8). Reyes was looked at as the uncrowned champion going into the contest. However, the legendary Polish Power put Reyes down in the second round to capture the light heavyweight title.

That loss was just the icing on the cake of a rough year for Dominick Reyes. He rode a ton of momentum into that fight with many believing he defeated the goat just to be stopped by Blachowicz. This fight with Prochazka is a chance for him to right the ship.

UFC Newcomer

On the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island, Jiri Prochazka made his highly anticipated debut with the promotion. The global MMA scene was very familiar with Prochazka, but he was a bit of an unknown to a lot of fight fans.

The promotion gave him a tough test right away in former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir (17-5). The fight was incredibly entertaining and Prochazka showed off some of his personality in that fight.

In the second round, Prochazka landed a massive right hand that put Oezdemir out cold. A huge UFC debut for Prochazka and that win launched him into the top five of the rankings. If he can beat Dominick Reyes whenever they fight, Jiri Prochazka might be getting a title shot in 2021.

UFC: Gane – Rozenstruik to headline Feb. 27th card per Rozenstruik

Ciryl Gane UFC

According to Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1), the UFC has a new main event for their fight night on February 27th. Originally, the promotion had been planning on a light heavyweight contest between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka headlining that card.

Rozenstruik was set to take on top contender, Ciryl Gane (7-0), on the UFC‘s Fight Night on March 13th. However, it appears that everything is being switched around. Rozenstruik announced the news on Twitter yesterday. 

However, he didn’t just announce that his fight with Gane was moving to 2/27, he announced they would be fighting five rounds. That can only mean that the heavyweight clash is the new UFC headliner.

So far, there has been no word from the UFC on what is going on. We are going completely off of the tweet of Rozenstruik, however, if he’s tweeted it out, it must be a done deal. One would have to assume that the fight between Prochazka and Reyes is getting pushed back.

The UFC is no stranger to card shuffling after the crazy 2020 COVID year. With the virus still lingering and restrictions still in place, you can imagine that there will be a lot of altered cards throughout 2021 as well.

UFC’s New Headliner

For the sake of this article, let’s go ahead and assume this heavyweight battle is headlining the UFC’s 2/27 card. This is a massive fight for the heavyweight division. This is also a fight that’s going to tell us a lot about Ciryl Gane.

Gane is being looked at as the top prospect in the UFC’s heavyweight division. He just passed his first big test when he stopped Junior Dos Santos at UFC 255. However, JDS is not looked at as the same guy that he was when he was UFC champion.

Rozenstruik is a very dangerous contender and his only career loss is against the top contender in the world, Francis Ngannou. Whoever wins this fight will be in prime position in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

In my opinion, we could be seeing a little heavyweight tournament forming. The week prior to this headliner, the UFC has another headliner featuring Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. Perhaps the winners could fight considering Jon Jones is already guaranteed the next title shot.