LAS VEGAS — Jiri Prochazka made a major statement Saturday with a vicious knockout of Dominick Reyes on Saturday at Apex, knocking the former title challenger cold with a spinning back elbow at 4:29 of the second round.
Prochazka was lighting up Reyes throughout the bout and got the better of the exchanges in a fast-paced and action-packed first round. Prochazka’s length, the pace and his variety of strikes were causing Reyes trouble.
By the end of the first round, Reyes was wobbly and bleeding from the nose and mouth. It would only get worse for him in the second.
Prochazka, who now has 10 consecutive wins by knockout, was simply more accurate and quicker to the punch. Reyes briefly caught Prochazka in the center of the ring in a guillotine choke in the second, but Prochazka was calm and yanked his head out.
When they got back to their feet, it was nothing but trouble for Reyes.
Prochazka’s strikes backed a weary Reyes against the cage. Prochazka threw a standing right elbow that didn’t fully connect. The Czech striker spun and caught Reyes on the chin with a perfectly placed left elbow.
Reyes immediately went down and the fight was over at 4:29 of the second.
It was a huge win for Prochazka in just his second UFC fight. He knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round in his UFC debut on Fight Island in September and then decimated Reyes. He’s knocked out two one-time light heavyweight title challengers and figures to be no worse than No. 3 in the divisional rankings when they come out next week.
Reyes simply was outgunned in this one and didn’t have any answers. If he’d used a wrestling heavy style it might have helped him, but he’s a striker as well and that was not the answer.
Reyes has now lost three consecutive bouts — to Jon Jones and Jan Blachowicz in title fights — and faces a difficult road back to contention in the division.
Prochazka, though, is going to be a very significant player in the division by the likes of his start.
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