MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 25, a five-round light heavyweight bout between Jiri Prochazka and Dominick Reyes. The event takes place on Saturday, May 1 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jiri Prochazka (-145)
Prochazka (27-3-1) is the No. 5 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 28-year-old Czech Republic native won his UFC debut on Fight Island last summer when he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in a terrific performance. Overall he is riding an 11-fight win streak and he has some solid wins over that stretch over veteran fighters like Fabio Maldonado, King Mo, and CB Dollaway, and he smoked all of them. It’s been a while since we have seen Prochazka lose and lately he just seems like a destroyer. He walks forward throwing bombs and more often than not he connects and hurts his opponents. We still haven’t seen Prochazka tested in his full mixed martial arts game, but as far as the standup goes, there aren’t many opponents who will want to stand across from him.
Dominick Reyes (+125)
Reyes (12-2) is the No. 3 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. He has notable wins over the likes of Chris Weidman, Volkan Oezdemir, and Ovince Saint-Preux. The 31-year-old American also came within one round of beating Jon Jones for the belt in February 2020, but that seems so long ago now. Since then, Reyes has fought just once, suffering a knockout loss to current champ Jan Blachowicz. There’s no shame in losing to the champion, but the way that Reyes lost is certainly concerning. Still, Reyes is amongst the best fighters the UFC’s 205lbs division has to offer. We’ve seen time and time again that he moves well for a big man and has plenty of striking skills and knockout power to offer. In addition, he has a good ground game and cardio. The thing is, at this elite level of the sport and fighting a knockout artist like Prochazka, those skills might not be enough to win. Reyes can go in there with a good gameplan and get the win, but he’s the dog for a reason.
Fight Breakdown: This should be an awesome fight between two of the UFC light heavyweight division’s top talents. Prochazka is riding into this fight on a long win streak and has plenty of knockout power, but he hasn’t really been tested during that stretch. If he can’t knock Reyes out, it’s possible he could get outpointed by a rejuvenated Reyes, but that’s a big if based on how poor of form we saw from Reyes his last time out. I’d like to say that Reyes can bounce back here, but I’m not so sure this is the best matchup for him to do so in. Although I think it’s a close fight, my lean would have to be towards Prochazka. I think his movement will give Reyes some problems and with the amount of power that he packs in his punches, I’m thinking he goes out there and gets the KO.
Prediction: Jiri Prochazka