UFC Vegas 25 is hoping to be the sequel to what could have been the most interesting and eventful UFC pay-per-view in recent memory. As all of you are still coming off the high of last Saturday, this weekend’s main card is set to deliver yet again. Headlining at the Apex Arena in Las Vegas will be a rescheduled bout between top light heavyweight contenders Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes and Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka.
Co-headlining the event will be highly rated prospect and former Glory kickboxer Giga “Ninja” Chikadze scheduled to take on UFC veteran “Killer” Cub Swanson. Both featherweights will be looking to extend their winning streaks and assert themselves in the top 15 of the division. Before that, another former Glory kickboxer Dustin Jacoby will try and keep his undefeated UFC record intact as he takes on Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba looking to put the Magomed Ankalaev fights firmly in the past.
Sean Strickland has been on a very impressive run since his return to the octagon after a motorcycle accident had him sidelined for two years. He will be hoping to continue his winning ways at middleweight as he welcomes Krzysztof Jotko, a man riding a 3-fight winning streak of his own. A very important bantamweight fight is set between Merab Dvalishivilli and Cody Stamann as both guys are edging closer to title contention. Finally, opening up the card will be Poliana Botelho taking on Luana Carolina at women’s flyweight.
How We Got Here: Fighter Profiles
Dominick Reyes (12-2)
Coming into the sports largest promotion, UFC light heavyweight Dominick Reyes was unbeaten at 6-0 with five first-round stoppages. Once Reyes stepped into the octagon for the first time, his reputation didn’t disappoint. The California native knocked out Joachim Christensen 29 seconds into his debut, extending his first-round finishing streak to four. Six months later The Devastator continued his impressive early finishing streak, submitting Jeremy Kimball with a rear-naked choke 3:39 into the first frame.
From then on, his opposition would only get stiffer. Next on the books for Reyes was the current #4 ranked middleweight in the world Jared Cannonier. At this point, Dominick Reyes had finished his last 5 fights in the first round and this one would be no different. After wobbling Cannonier with an uppercut, Reyes swarmed his opposition dropping him yet again with an uppercut before the ref had stepped in after only 3 minutes of action.
With 3 impressive performances under his belt, Reyes was offered an opportunity of a lifetime, to be featured on the main card of UFC 229: Khabib vs Mcgregor. The ex-Stoney Brook Seawolves’ safety would showcase his technical striking prowess for 3 rounds against Ovince St. Preux who was 4-1 in his last 5. Earning the unanimous decision impressively all while improved his unbeaten record to 9-0.
Next up for Reyes was Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir. The Swiss native was coming off of two stoppage losses in a row to Daniel Cormier and Anthony Smith respectively and was focused on getting back in the winning column. The bout was very closely contested, with Reyes outstriking Oezdemir by a very slim margin. This showed on the judge’s scorecards as Dominick Reyes sneaked by with a split decision victory.
On October 18th of 2019, The Devastator would be given a former middleweight champion looking to make a reign at light heavyweight before calling it quits. The “All American” Chris Weidman played the role of underdog against the Mexican-American in his divisional debut. Reyes defended the early take-down attempts impressively before picking his own shots and landing a left cross that was the beginning of the end.
The next two fights for Reyes would not go his way. After knocking out Chris Weidman in spectacular fashion, The Devastator had lined himself up with arguably the best mixed martial artist of all time, Jon Jones. The fight ended up being the most closely contested fight of the now 13-time light heavyweight champion with many at-home giving Dominick Reyes the edge. Months later, Jones would vacate the belt and announce his plan to move up to heavyweight. This opened the door for a new champion to hold reign over the division not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier.
The UFC announced that Dominick Reyes would Face Polish native Jan Blachowitz for the vacant strap in September of 2020. Blachowitz was on an impressive 3-fight winning streak defeating Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, and Corey Anderson in the process. With Reyes coming off an extremely impressive showing verse Jonny Bones, he was understandably the moderate favorite going into the bout. However, Blachowitz would silence all critics, putting on a masterclass performance that saw Jan dominate all the way up until the finish halfway through the second round.
Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1)
The Czech native is a relatively new addition to the UFC. In July of 2020, Prochazka made his debut against ex-title contender and current #8 ranked light heavyweight, Volkan Oezdemir. His extremely unorthodox style gave the Swiss some difficulty within the couple minutes of the opening frame. However, Ozedemir mixed up his shots extremely well and kept his volume high, even dropping Prochazka, earning all three judges first round on the scorecards.
Yet to throw anything but his hands, Prochazka fires out a quick low leg kick, following up with a high kick landing clean on the chin of Oezdemir. From then on, Prochazka would throw a flurry of attacks before landing a devastating right hand knocking out his opponent on impact.
Before entering the UFC, Jiri Prochazka made a name for himself fighting in RIZIN, capturing the light heavyweight belt at RIZIN 20 against C.B Dolloway back in 2019. On his impressive run to championship status, he beat the likes of current Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov, Karl Alberktsson, as well as UFC veterans Fabio Maldonaldo and Muhammed Lawal.
UFC Vegas 25 Main Event Preview
With a combined 31 knockouts between the two, both Reyes and Prochazka always look to get it done on the feet. However, they have very contrasting styles that I think will make for a very entertaining main event. Dominick Reyes is a more technical, guard up, stick and move striker that likes to cut angles and use his footwork to set up his combos.
Prochazka does a lot of the same things but in ways, you could only describe as bizarre. He keeps his hands almost exclusively by his hips, throwing jabs and crosses from very unorthodox angles you aren’t necessarily expecting. When it comes to his movement, he is none stop switching stances, feinting high and low, keeping very light on his feet.
Reyes has shown time and time again the accuracy in his hands is up there with the best in the division. I think this will give Prochazka a ton of problems if he lunges into strikes as much as he did against Oezdemir. Reyes predominately looks for counter strikes and Prochazka will leave himself open if he continues to throw looping shots as he has shown. Reyes will have to bait out his opponent’s attacks by none stop feinting and movement on the outside. He will also have to be patient with his shot selection.
It feels like a lot of people are doubting Reyes since being on a 2-fight skid, including Vegas with most betting odds having Prochazka as a favorite. But stylistically I think Dominick Reyes should get the job done. His accuracy snd speed will assist him in splitting his opponent’s awkward timing although it may take him a round or so to do it.
Dominick Reyes vs Jiri Prochazka Prediction: Reyes via second round TKO
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