UFC 253: Reyes vs. Blachowicz Betting Odds & Picks

  • Date & Location: Saturday Sept. 26 @ Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi
  • Odds: Dominick Reyes (-260) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+200) via Bovada
  • Prediction: Reyes by decision

In mid-August, Jon Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title. With that, the UFC will have its first 205-pound champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier since Jones scored a TKO win over Mauricio Rua in March 2011. That champion will be decided on September 26 when the No. 1 ranked Dominic Reyes faces Jan Blachowicz, who is the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC light heavyweight rankings.

Reyes last competed in February when he went five rounds with Jones. Jones won that contest, but it was close enough that many MMA media members scored the fight for Reyes. The loss was the first of Reyes’ 13-fight MMA career. Blachowicz has been with the UFC since 2014. He’s had an up and down run with the promotion. He started his UFC career with a 2-4 record, but since October 2017, Blachowicz has gone 7-1. His most recent win was a February knockout victory over Corey Anderson.

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REYES vs. BLACHOWICZ ODDS

Fighter Odds (via Bovada)
Dominick Reyes -260
Jan Blachowicz +200

REYES vs. BLACHOWICZ PREDICTION & PICK

At 37, Blachowicz is on the best run of his career, but he has struggled in the past with top talents and it’s hard to find a win on his record against an opponent who compares to the 30-year-old Reyes. Another concern for Blachowicz is that he has 34 fights on his record. That’s a lot more mileage than Reyes, who only has 13 bouts to his name.

Before facing Jones, Reyes had not been in a five-round bout. Now that he knows what that feels like and what part of his fighting style led to his loss to Jones, I expect to see an improved version of Reyes in this matchup. I think he will do a lot more attacking and that he will be more aggressive in his striking.

I believe this fight is Reyes’ to lose and that he is the better all around fighter.

Pick: Reyes by decision.

BETTING VALUE WITH REYES

Most of Reyes’ wins have come via knockout. He has seven knockout victories, two submission and three decision triumphs on his record. However, most of his stoppages came outside the UFC or against fighters outside the light heavyweight top-15. With that, I feel comfortable saying Reyes will win by decision. However, there is a chance of a knockout win, especially if Reyes gets the fight to the ground, which is where Blachowicz is at his weakest.

Blachowicz has seven knockout wins. Two of those came in his three most recent fights. So, there is a chance he catches Reyes. I don’t think the odds of that are very high, as Blachowicz is a slower fighter than Reyes. Reyes should be able to create time and space to avoid most of the power of his opponent.

WHO HAS THE EDGE?

Reyes is younger, faster and a better striker. He also has more tools than Blachowicz and more routes to victory. As for statistics, Reyes lands more significant strikes per minute and that could be the biggest key to winning this fights, since I believe it will mostly be fought on the feet.

I also can’t underestimate what 25 minutes in the cage opposite Jon Jones did for Reyes’ confidence and what he learned from that time.

It’s difficult to find a way Blachowicz wins this fight unless he catches Reyes slipping.

FIGHT STATS: REYES vs. BLACHOWICZ

 

Dominick Reyes Category Jan Blachowicz
30 Age 37
12-1 Record 26-8
7 Knockout Wins 7
2 Submission Wins 9
3 Decision Wins 10
6’4″ Height 6’2″
205 Weight 205
77″ Reach 78″
Southpaw Stance Orthodox
4.88 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute 3.45
49% Striking Accuracy 48%
3.00 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute 2.77
48% Striking Defense 54%
0.24 Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes 1.16
16% Takedown Accuracy 52%
82% Takedown Defense 65%
0.2 Submission Average Per 15 Minutes 0.3

WHAT’S AT STAKE

With Jon Jones focusing on moving up to heavyweight and Daniel Cormier retired, this fight will crown the light heavyweight champion. But more importantly, this matchup begins a new chapter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. No longer will fans just assume that Jones or Cormier will trade the title back and forth. This contest should mark a new era of competition and excitement in the 205-pound weight class.

Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He currently covers MMA for MMA Junkie and Forbes. He has also written for Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.