The vacant UFC light heavyweight title will be up for grabs at the Flash Forum on September 26. The Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz fight will attract attention from MMA enthusiasts all over the world. This is because the winner will be the first champion in the post-Jon Jones era in the division.
Jones’ powers were waning and Dominick Reyes put on a classic against him at UFC 247. Fans were aggrieved at the fighter losing via the judges’ scorecards, and the calls for a rematch dominated the post-event conversations. Given his stupendous showing, ‘The Devastator’ was a shoo-in for a future title fight.
At UFC 253, his aim will be to prove that his ascent to the summit was merely delayed and not denied. Furthermore, the onus will be on him to match if not surpass his previous fight. That may be a tough ask, but, it is the norm for a champion or a champion in waiting.
Jan Blachowicz was Jones’ next target and will seek to claim the gold and steal Reyes’ thunder. The fighter is riding a three-fight win streak. He will look to make it four in a row and become only the second Polish fighter to claim UFC gold after women’s strawweight fighter Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
UFC 253- Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz
‘The Devastator’ heads into his seventh UFC fight and thirteenth overall fight. However, this match will differ from the rest as it is the first time he is dealing with a defeat. On the flip side, Reyes can head into the contest and feel free as he doesn’t have an undefeated streak to worry about.
In six UFC fights, Reyes has landed 4.88 significant strikes per minute at a 49% accuracy. The statistic highlights his fight style and the fact that he is yet to be out landed shows fans that he will not deviate from his trusted game plan. The Californian fighter even out-landed the mighty ‘Bones’ by double digits.
The 34-fight veteran, Blachowicz offers a submission threat, but most of these wins came in his days in Poland. Since moving to the UFC in 2014, the fighter claimed nine wins with just five finishes. He has preferred to take the fights to the distance and in his measured striking; he earned enough victories to stake a claim for the belt.
The 37-year-old landed 3.45 strikes per minute at a 45% accuracy. Like most fighters who have a low significant strike landed score, his strike defense rate makes up for it.
Blachowicz absorbed 2.77 strikes and defended 54% of all attempts. The numbers will be put to the sword on Saturday unless he attempts to take Reyes down.
This should be his game plan as his 45% strike accuracy will not trouble Reyes who absorbs just 3.00 strikes per minute. Unfortunately for him, ‘The Devastator’ holds an 82% takedown defense. Hence, he should be able to hold off the Pole while maintaining his volume of strikes.
Reyes survived punishment from Jon Jones, and barring an anomaly, it seems unlikely that Blachowicz will unsettle him. All signs point to an imminent Dominick Reyes coronation as the king of the 205-pounds division.
Prediction: Dominick Reyes to win via third-round TKO
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