There is a new title threat in the UFC at 205lbs after Czech powerhouse Jiri Prochazka enhanced his glittering reputation even further with a stunning second round spinning elbow knockout of former title contender Dominick Reyes.
Prochazka entered the UFC last summer to much fanfare after a run through the RIZIN promotion saw him claim their light heavyweight title amid a string of stunning first-round finishes.
While his handiwork wasn’t quite so snappy on Saturday night in las Vegas, the manner in which he dispatched the gritty Reyes – who came close to seizing the world title from Jon Jones just 18 months ago – has announced that there is a new threat in one of the UFC’s most talent-rich weight divisions.
The fight was chaos from start to finish. Upon the opening bell, both men sought to assert their authority on their feet in an all-action encounter, with Reyes finding opportunities to land sequences of strikes. Prochazka, though, refused to take a backward step and fired back relentlessly, bloodying Reyes’ face towards the conclusion of the first round.
— danawhite (@danawhite) May 2, 2021
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) May 2, 2021
In the second round, the toll began to tell. The ever-game Reyes was getting stung with punches from the Czech striker but despite briefly hurting Prochazka with a crisp counter (and also looked to have him in trouble after connecting with an upkick from his back), the end came when Prochazka connected with a spinning elbow which collapsed Reyes to the canvas.
Afterwards, Prochazka – who improved his career record to 28-3-1 – made clear that his focus is now on UFC light heavyweight gold.
“Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s do that,” he said post-fight. “I like my neighbor, [Jan] Blachowicz. Now it’s the fight Glover Teixeira vs. Blachowicz, yeah? So the winner will be my next opponent? OK, that’s an honor for me. That’s a big honor for me.
“It was a very nice fight. I just want to show the beauty of the art but sometimes I go very quickly for the win. By that, I catch some punches. I’m learning still from fight to fight.
“I just flow. After some counter punches from Dominick, I can have no chance to think for some plans. I just was in the flow. After that, the spinning elbow, let’s try it.”
— UFC (@ufc) May 2, 2021
That was scary. Jiri is a video game character come to life. Has the hair, size power etc
— Vlad 🧀🏈 (@VladB004) May 2, 2021
Reyes lost 10 years off his life there to give us 10 minutes of entertainment
— Now Kith (@makysufzai) May 2, 2021
Online, fight fans were very much in awe of the Czech star’s power.
“Jiri is a video game character come to life. Has the hair, size power and so on,” wrote one fan, while another was perhaps a little more concerned about the potential impact that the stunning knockout might have had on Reyes.
“Reyes lost 10 years off his life there to give us 10 minutes of entertainment,” they wrote.
Reigning champion Blachowicz is slated to defend his UFC light heavyweight title against veteran Brazilian Glover Teixeira in September but, judging by the evidence from the cage in Las Vegas late last night, there is an unenviable task awaiting the victor.
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