- Date & Location: Saturday, May 1 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas
- Odds: Dominick Reyes (+120) vs. Jiri Prochazka (-145) via Bovada
- Prediction: Reyes by decision
The UFC is coming off one of the best events of the year in UFC 261. That fight card, which featured three title fights, took place in front of a sold-out crowd at VyStar Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. This week, the UFC returns to the friendly confines of the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Unlike UFC 261, UFC Vegas 25 will not have a crowd in attendance.
The headlining bout of UFC Vegas 25 sees former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes vs. former Rizin light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka.
Reyes, who is the No. 3 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender, is on a two-fight losing skid after starting his career at 12-0. Reyes lost a competitive decision to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in February 2020. Then, after Jones surrendered the title to concentrate on heavyweight, Jan Błachowicz defeated Reyes in a bout for the vacant title.
Prochazka, who is on an 11-fight winning streak, made his UFC debut in July 2020. He knocked out former UFC title contender Volkan Oezdemir in that matchup. Prochazka is ranked No. 5 at 205 pounds.
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REYES vs. PROCHAZKA PREDICTION & PICK
If Prochazka’s UFC debut is any indication, he is going to come out of the gate on fire. In his UFC debut, Prochazka attempted 92 significant strikes. He landed 41 of those against Oezdemir, but he absorbed a fair amount as well. Prochazka absorbed an incredibly high 7.05 significant strikes per minute. That second number should be a huge concern for Prochazka.
Reyes will be ready for Prochazka aggression, and I think he’ll use that against his opponent. I believe Reyes will play a strong defensive game and look for counters. If he can’t find those counters through the flurries, Reyes will wait for Prochazka to slow down in the later rounds.
I think Reyes has the experience against high-level opponents and I think that will be the difference maker in this matchup.
BETTING VALUE WITH REYES
Reyes is a skilled all-around fighter, and I feel he is a very live underdog in this matchup. I think if he can get Prochazka into the championship rounds he will win the fight. There’s an outside chance, if Prochazka gets tired, that Reyes could score a stoppage. Prochazka has 31 professional fights and has only gone the three-round distance once and the five-round distance once. My bet is Reyes to win and I think it will be by decision.
If you feel Prochazka is the favorite for a good reason, the bet on him should be by knockout. Of his 27 wins, 24 have come via knockout and the majority of those have come in the first round.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
There is no doubt that Prochazka has the power edge. The number of knockouts he has scored throughout his career tells that tale succinctly. As for overall fighting skills, I have to give the edge there to Reyes and I think his well-rounded skill set will make the difference.
FIGHT STATS: REYES vs. PROCHAZKA
|Dominick Reyes||Category||Jiri Prochazka|
|4.53||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.67|
|3.16||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||7.05|
|0.20||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.00|
|0.2||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.0|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With Blachowicz set to defend his title against the No. 1 ranked Glover Teixeira at UFC 266, there is an outside chance the winner of this fight could land a title fight. At the very least, the victor should be no more than one win away from fighting for the UFC light heavyweight crown after UFC Vegas 25.
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