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.

What’s next for Thiago Santos after another loss at UFC 259?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, former title challenger and top light heavyweight, Thiago Santos (21-9), returned to action. He took on fellow top light heavyweight contender, Aleksandar Rakic (14-2), to kick off the PPV main card.

For Santos, this was his second fight back since recovering from knee surgery. Santos had the opportunity of a lifetime when he earned a title shot against Jon Jones at UFC 239. However, the fight went very wrong very early on.

Early in the fight, Santos completely tore his knee apart. With the injury, Santos wasn’t able to explode and do the damage that he’s normally capable of doing. Somehow, Santos still fought the all time great to a split decision back in 2019.

After the fight, Santos had to have major reconstructive surgery to repair the damage in he knee. After about 17 months away, Santos returned last November to take on Glover Teixeira. At first, it looked like Santos was going to get back to normal.

Santos dropped Teixeira and looked like he was going to return to be the force in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division that he was before the knee injury. He ended up dropping Teixeira twice in their matchup, but ultimately gassed out and was submitted.

He turned right around to face Rakic at UFC 259. One thing I did notice in the Teixeira fight is that Santos didn’t quite have the same explosion that he did prior to the injury. This is something I also noticed a lot in the Rakic fight.

What’s Santos’ UFC future?

There was just no explosion from Santos on Saturday night. To me, it was clear that he had the power and the speed advantage at UFC 259. In the past, we’ve seen Santos explode forward to overcome range disadvantages. However, he couldn’t do that on Saturday.

He was always too far away and couldn’t get anything going. As a result, he was outpointed and he lost his third consecutive fight. Santos is still ranked fourth in the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings, but where does he go from here?

To me, Santos needs a reset. He needs to fight someone in the top ten that’s in a similar position, but it needs to be a winnable fight. Personally, I love the idea of Santos taken on another former title challenger in Volkan Oezdemir (17-5) next.

We haven’t seen Oezdemir compete inside the octagon since his knockout loss at UFC 251 back in July. Both men are former title challengers, but they’re also top ten light heavyweights needing to bounce back. Seems like a great time for the UFC to pair these two up.

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: Most intriguing and under the radar fights on Fight Island

UFC, Dana White

Next month, the UFC will be taking over Abu Dhabi for four events in just 14 days. The UFC kicks off Fight Island with the best card of the year at UFC 251. That card features three title fights including the headliner between Kamaru Usman (16-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3) for the welterweight title. All of the cards are absolutely stacked on Fight Island. With that in mind, let’s look at an under the radar fight from each of the first four cards in Abu Dhabi.

UFC 251 – July 11th

The card on July 11th is absolutely sick. Three title fights and a rematch between the top two female strawweights in the world all on the main card. However, there is a light heavyweight matchup that I’m extremely interested in. That would be the matchup between former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir (17-4), and the Rizin light heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1).

While a lot of people might not know him, Prochazka is one of the more exciting signings that the UFC has made in a while. He enters the UFC on a ten-fight winning streak including nine knockouts. He’s finished his last eight opponents including seven in the first round. Oezdemir has won back-to-back fights after losing three in a row. He’s looking to get back to a title shot, and a win might get him there. A win for either one of these men will vault them into the title discussion at 205. Jon Jones’ future in the division is in question. If he continues to fight, he’s likely going to be moving to heavyweight soon. The light heavyweight division could be on the verge of becoming wide open.

UFC on ESPN 13 – July 15th

Just a few days after UFC 251, we get a rare Wednesday night card that will be headlined between Calvin Kattar (21-4) and Dan Ige (14-2). There are a number of great fights including a strawweight matchup between Carla Esparza (16-6) and Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2). However, the one fight that somehow is flying under the radar is the co-main event between Frankie Edgar (23-8-1) and Pedro Munhoz (18-4).

“The Answer” is going to be making his bantamweight debut against one of the best guys in the world. The former lightweight champion is still trying to get back to UFC gold after losing his title years ago. Edgar dropped to featherweight, and had three title shots in his run there. He lost all three which has resulted in him dropping one more time to bantamweight. Edgar was very small at lightweight, small at featherweight, but will finally fit in at 135 pounds. Just like with everything in Edgar’s career, he’s jumping right in with the sharks in his debut.

Prior to his loss to Aljamain Sterling a year ago, Pedro Munhoz was on a roll. He had won three fights in a row including a knockout over former champion, Cody Garbrandt. Munhoz is no easy task for anyone in the division. I’m very curious to see this fight play out on July 15th. I’m putting it on the list today because I’m shocked at how little people are talking about this incredible fight. This fight was initially scheduled to be at UFC 251, but it was bumped a few days to beef up the Wednesday card.

UFC on ESPN 14 – July 18th

On July 18th the UFC will have another fight night that will be headlined by a flyweight title fight. Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) and Joseph Benavidez (28-6) will have their rematch for the vacant title. They fought back in February, and Figueiredo won the fight by stoppage. However, since he missed weight in the fight, nobody won the title. The UFC decided to run the fight immediately back with the hope that he can make weight this time. Speaking of the flyweight division, there is a fight that most people probably don’t know about that’s really caught my eyes on this card.

I’m very interested in the flyweight contest between top Russian prospect, Askar Askarov (11-0-1) and Alexandre Pantoja (22-4). Russian MMA is on fire right now, and one of the brighter prospects is Askarov. He fought to a draw in his UFC debut against Brandon Moreno, but bounced back with a unanimous decision victory over former title challenger, Tim Elliot. Pantoja is no easy task for the Russian. Pantoja is 6-2 in his UFC career with wins over Brandon Moreno and Wilson Reis. This is a very interesting matchup in the flyweight division. With both guys ranked in the top seven, the winner of this fight could very well be next in line to fight the winner of the main event.

UFC on ESPN 15 – July 25th

The final card of the month is loaded. The main event of the evening is a title eliminator in the middleweight division between former champion, Robert Whittaker (20-5), and Darren Till (18-2-1). While the card is stacked, the one matchup that I’m very curious about is in the heavyweight division. Former heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum (23-9-1), will be taking on Alexander Gustafsson (18-6) in “The Mauler’s” heavyweight debut.

After some trouble with USADA, the former champion made his return back in May. Werdum really didn’t look that great in his return. Maybe you could attribute that to ring-rust after two years off. Werdum will also be getting ready to turn 43-years-old when he fights Gustafsson. Gustafsson surprised many when he retired last June after losing to Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 153. Gustafsson was just one fight removed from his loss to Jon Jones. Gustafsson is one of the best fighters to never taste UFC gold. He’s constantly been one of the best guys in the world, but he never has been able to climb the mountain all the way. I’m very curious to see how he looks at heavyweight. If this fight stays on the feet, the speed that Gustafsson has could really showcase well here, if it goes to the ground, I’m not sure how “The Mauler” will hold up.

A July to Remember

As a fight fan, you live for months like July. Four events in just two weeks time. The cards are all stacked from top to bottom. While other major sports in the world are still trying to figure it out, the UFC is churning out one of the more anticipated months in the sports history.

UFC: Jiri Prochazka set for debut; fights Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 251

UFC

UFC 251 just added a big-time light heavyweight matchup to it’s impressive and growing fight card. Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir (17-4), will be welcoming a big-time fighter to the UFC that not a lot of people know about.

Prochazka’s Debut

Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1) was signed by the UFC back in January to a new exclusive deal. Prochazka comes into this first UFC fight riding a ten fight winning streak, where only one fight went the distance. He has only seen the second round in two of those ten fights. Prochazka is coming off wins over UFC vets, C.B. Dollaway and Fabio Maldonado. Prochazka was the Rizin light heavyweight champion prior to signing with the UFC. 23 of Prochazka’s 26 career wins have come via KO or TKO.

Volkan looks to keep it going

Oezdemir is coming off back to back wins which have helped his career get back on track. Oezdemir lost three consecutive fights starting with his world title loss to Daniel Cormier back at UFC 220. The light heavyweight division is in a state of limbo, but this is a really good fight for the division. If Oezdemir is able to win this fight, it would be his third in a row, and it would put him right back at the top of the division.

This is a great matchup to introduce a new fighter to the division. Prochazka is not getting a layup here in his first fight. We will know right away what kind of fighter this guy is. A win for either man will put them squarely in the conversation for a future title shot. If you’re not familiar with Prochazka, you can check out his highlights below.