By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC: Reyes vs. Prochazka was yesterday and featured a contender making a big statement in his quest for a title shot. Let’s get to the rundown.
UFC: Reyes vs. Prochazka
GOOD- Merab Dvalishvili vs. Cody Stamann
They traded early before Dvalishvili got a takedown, though Stamann got up quickly. Stamann caught Dvalishvili and dazed him with a strong jab. The second round saw Stamann get an early takedown, though Dvalishvili got up quickly as well. The third round started with more trading strikes between the two. Dvalishvili got the decision, though it was close, good win for him.
GOOD- Krzysztof Jotko vs. Sean Strickland
Strickland opened the fight by pummeling Jotko with strikes, though Jotko gave punishment back as well. The second round saw more of the same, though again, Jotko was landing strikes of his own. It just wasn’t as many as Strickland. There was some more good striking in the third round, but Strickland came out ahead and he got the decision victory from the judges. Good win for Strickland.
GOOD/BAD- Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby
Things started quickly as Cutelaba got a takedown, Jacoby got up, then Cutelaba took him back down again. This repeated over and over until the round ended. Cutelaba got a takedown early in the second round but Jacoby was able to stuff a lot of his takedown attempts. He also unloaded heavy strikes on Cutelaba and started punishing him. That continued in the third round. Cutelaba got a 10-8 in the first round and Jacoby won the last two rounds so we got a draw. I don’t like draws but sometimes that’s how it works out. It’s unsatisfying but it happens sometimes.
GOOD- Giga Chikadze stops Cub Swanson
Chikadze nailed Swanson with a big bodykick then jumped on him with punches to force the referee to jump in and stop the fight just over a minute into the first round. Good win for Chikadze, his eighth win in a row.
GOOD- Jiri Prochzka stops Dominick Reyes
They traded hard shots early, then Reyes got a takedown. Prochazka fired back with some big shots and they continued beating each other up until the first round ended. The second round was more of the same, as they beat the hell out of each other. They both showed tremendous toughness to take the bombs they did. This continued until late in the second round when Prochazka completely obliterated Reyes with a spinning back elbow. Good win for Prochazka, his 12th straight win, with eleven of those wins coming by KO or TKO.
Reyes has now lost three fights in a row, this after winning the first twelve fights of his career. Granted, the losses have been to Jon Jones, Blachowicz, and Prochazka, but it’s never a good thing to lose three in a row.
Prochazka was ranked fifth in the UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings while Reyes was ranked third. Those rankings should at least flip after this, and actually I think there’s a strong chance Prochazka becomes the #2 contender in the division. The current #1 contender is Glover Teixiera, and he’s slated to fight UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz on September 4th at UFC 266. So obviously after that fight, Teixiera will either drop if he loses, or Blachowicz will drop if he loses. The current #2 contender is Aleksandar Rakic and no offense to him, but Prochazka has the better resume. Rakic has won two in a row, though he also won twelve fights in a row before losing a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir. However, Prochazka knocked out Oezdemir last July so that’s why I think Prochazka has the better resume. No matter who gets the next title shot, either Prochazka or Rakic, they’ll be deserving.
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