On September 26th. at UFC 253 – we will crown a new undisputed light heavyweight champion, other than Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier, for the first time since March of 2011.
Competing for vacant spoils in the co-main event, recent title challenger Dominick ‘The Devastator’ Reyes gets his second crack at 205-pound gold, as he tackles surging former KSW light heavyweight titleholder, Jan Błachowicz.
Reyes recently made a siege for the light heavyweight throne at UFC 247 in February, narrowly losing a unanimous decision to the aforenoted, Jones. Earning his slot in this vacant title matchup, Polish finisher, Błachowicz has won three straight, most recently stopping recent Bellator signee, Corey Anderson in the opening round at UFC Fight Night Rio Rancho, also in February.
In what on paper promises an evenly contested affair, both Reyes and Błachowicz separate themselves from their division counterparts, which include the likes of Glover Teixeira, Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, and Aleksandar Rakić.
Speaking with MMA Junkie reporter, Farah Hannoun – 37-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Błachowicz predicted a finish of the #1 ranked Reyes, before the championship rounds, and hinted at the possible utilisation of his grappling prowess.
“I think it’s gonna be a standup match, a kickboxing match, but if I’m gonna have the opportunity to take him down, I’m gonna do this,” Błachowicz explained. “But, I’m not afraid to fight against Dominick (Reyes) in the stand-up so I think that’s gonna be a really good fight to watch and I think someone will go down, and that’s gonna be Dominick. In the third round, I think so. I believe I can do this in the third round. I see this in my dreams when I do my visualization training. Yeah. Third round, he goes down.”
A third-round finish for Błachowicz would mark a career first, with his prior finishes in this current three-fight rise coming in the opening and second round, in between a close split decision win. Before his aforenoted knockout of then contender, Anderson – Błachowicz had notched a very close judging win over former Strikeforce middleweight best, Jacaré Souza in São Paulo, after a stunning knockout of another one-time Strikeforce and UFC 185-pound titleholder, Luke Rockhold at UFC 239 last July.
Hesperia striker, Reyes saw his twelve fight undefeated career run halted in his previously mentioned controversial loss to Jones. Earning his first foray at the throne, the 30-year-old Californian has finished the likes of former middleweight best, Chris Weidman, and current contender, Jared Cannonier, to go with decision wins over former championship hopefuls, Volkan Oezdemir and Ovince Saint Preux.