Jiri Prochazka once again amazed the world, this time by knocking out a two-time UFC light heavyweight challenger Dominick Reyes.
His spinning elbow KO is one of the highlights of the season, and we can say without any hesitation that the Czech fighter is the newest sensation in the organization and arguably the fastest rising star. The match stopped at 4:29 of the second round.
It was an incredibly dynamic battle between two powerful strikers who are primarily kick-boxers. Even though Reyes (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) accepted the tempo and had his sprees, it was obvious that Prochazka (28-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) feels much more comfortable and that he controls what happens inside the octagon.
We’ve seen several solid exchanges and outbursts on both sides in the first round. Reyes started pressuring, but the answer came from the other side. Prochazka’s punching combo was the first serious attack, after which he wobbled the American with a hard right.
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The Devastator tried to defend himself with a takedown, but he didn’t have enough power to restrain the former Rizin champion on the canvas. After getting up to his feet, the Czech was more aggressive, and immediately began attacking the rival, who slowed down slightly.
Reyes tried to stop Prochazka’s surge with several big punches, even though he did not hurt the opponent, the pressure on him was lower. The end of the round saw the former challenger bloodied and cut, while on the other side, Prochazka looked much, much better.
The second round started with Reyes attacking and sending some big hits to his counterpart, who seemed untouched by the same. Then it was Prochazka’s turn to strike, and the Czech used a variety of strikes, punches, and kicks to shake Reyes, who temporarily saved himself with one counter that shook Prochazka, the first and the only time in this battle.
“I just flow,” Prochazka said. “After some counterpunches from Dominick, I can have no chance to think for some plans. I just was in the flow. [I thought], ‘After that, maybe spinning elbow. OK, let’s try it.'”
Both guys went to the mat afterward, and Reyes tried to finish off the fight with a guillotine choke, but without any success.
After getting up on the feet, Prochazka’s spinning elbow ended this battle, nominating itself for the best KO of the entire year.
The Czech might easily see himself competing for the title in the next match, while on the other side, Reyes has to get back to the basics and start working on his performance again. This was the third straight defeat for the American, with the note that the last two were via KO.
He pushed Jon Jones to the brink in their title fight which, according to many, had a controversial ending once the judges scored in Bones’ favor. After that, Reyes lost to Blachowicz in another title bout.
Prochazka will probably have to face Aleksandar Rakic in a title eliminator. The Austrian of Serbian origins made his way up to the top of the division, and he figures as one of the possible challengers for quite some time. The current champ, Blachowicz faces Glover Teixeira at the UFC 266 in September, and until then, there is enough time for the organization to book the match between these two rising stars.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.