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UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs. Weidman


UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs. Weidman (TV: Prelims and Main Card ESPN2)

Friday, October 18th Prelims 6:00 PM ET Main Card 9:00 PM ET TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts)

Co-Main Event

Featherweight Fight: Yair Rodriguez (12-2) vs. Jeremy Stephens (28-16)

Fight odds: Yair Rodriguez -130 Jeremy Stephens +100

Main Event

Light Heavyweight Fight: Dominick Reyes (11-0) vs. Chris Weidman (14-4)

Fight odds: Dominick Reyes -185 Chris Weidman +155

UFC Fight Night Pick Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman

The UFC will return to Boston for a strong fight card between fighters trying to enter the Title picture. In the Co-Main Event, Yair Rodriguez will fight Jeremy Stephens in a featherweight matchup. These two were scheduled to fight on September 21st, but the fight was stopped after only 15 seconds and ruled a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke and Stephens was unable to continue. The bout has now been re-scheduled less than a month later and is sure to be an enticing bout. Rodriguez is 27, 5’11 and 145 lbs with a 71 inch reach. Stephens is 33, 5’9 and 145.5 lbs with a 71 inch reach.

Rodriguez is one of the most exciting and unorthodox strikers in all of the UFC with 4 KOs in 11 wins. Rodriguez throws a lot of kicks, elbows and combinations that keep his opponents on the defensive. With constant movement and a variety of striking techniques, Rodriguez has the ability to overwhelm opponents. Rodriguez is coming off a 5th Round KO of Chan Sung Jung in November of 2018. In one of the best fights of 2018, Rodriguez showed a strong chin and various striking attacks before getting the last second KO with an unexpected elbow that stopped his opponent.

Stephens is a compact and strong fighter with great knockout power with 19 of his 28 wins coming by knockout. Stephens is coming off 2 straight losses to Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov and will look to get back on the winning track against Rodriguez. Stephens should look to use his wrestling to take Rodriguez down to lessen his striking attacks. Rodriguez’s lone loss in the UFC came against Frankie Edgar. Edgar won that fight primarily because he was able to take Rodriguez down and control him from top position. Stephens should look to apply a similar tactic because he will likely get peppered with strikes on the feet. Rodriguez’s superior striking ability and overall speed of movement should be enough to get the win against Stephens. 

In the Main Event, Chris Weidman will take on Dominick Reyes at light heavyweight (205 lbs). Weidman took the sport by storm when he knocked out Anderson Silva in 2013 to become the UFC Middleweight Champion (185 lbs). His reign lasted until 2015 when he lost the Title to Luke Rockhold by 4th Round KO. Since that knockout loss to Rockhold, Weidman only has one win against Kevin Gastelum in 2017. Weidman is coming off a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza in November of 2018 and is looking to be more successful in his move up to light heavyweight. With 4 losses in his last 5 fights and all by knockout, Weidman has to prove he is still an elite fighter in the sport. Moving up in weight could either go poorly or great depending on how he adjusts to fighting bigger opponents. Weidman is 35, 6’2 and 204 lbs with a 78 inch reach. Reyes is 29, 6’4 and 203 lbs with a 77 inch reach.

UFC Fight Night Pick Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman

Weidman comes from a wrestling background, but is also a decent striker that uses leg kicks and combination punching to win fights. Reyes is also known for his kicks and Weidman should look to use his wrestling if he is taking too much punishment in the stand up exchanges. Weidman can control the range well and will need to keep the proper distance against a dangerous striker in Reyes. The left cross of Reyes could end the fight and Weidman will need to have good head movement and not get into brawling exchanges in order to survive the full 5 Rounds.

Reyes has a good wrestling base that he can use to stymie the grappling attacks of a more experienced wrestler in Weidman. Reyes is coming off a split decision win over Volkan Oezdemir. It was the toughest fight of Reyes’ career and the decision could’ve gone to either fighter in what was a competitive bout. Reyes controlled the distance well and used his kicks to keep Oezdemir on the outside. Reyes has natural physical advantages over Weidman and looks to be the more powerful striker. These factors and his experience already having fought at light heavyweight should be enough to get the win against Weidman. If Weidman gets knocked out it wouldn’t be surprising if this is his last fight inside the octagon.

Yair Rodriguez by Decision

Dominick Reyes by 3rd Round KO