UFC on ESPN 23 served up a “Knockout of the year” contender: What next for Dominick Reyes?

Dominick Reyes will be wondering how the wheels have come off at this stage of his career. As he is a holder of a three-fight losing streak.

The Mexican-American light-heavyweight fighter was a cool and accomplished 12-0 fighter before he challenged Jon Jones for his title in February 2020. The world needs no reminding that the result could easily be considered a robbery on Reyes. The then contender looked as good as ever as he kept Jones honest in all five rounds of their bout.

His stellar performance although ending in defeat meant that when Jones vacated the throne. Reyes was one half of the bout for the vacant title when he faced Jan Blachowicz. A fight he lost by second-round stoppage, in September 2020.

On a road to redemption, Reyes was paired up with number five ranked Jiri Prochazka in a bout that had a title shot attached to it in the murky division. UFC president Dana White said prior to the event that the winner of the headlining bout would be next for champion. After the winner of Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira fight, who are expected to face off for the 205-pound belt in September. 

The fight was a brawl from the start to finish.

Both men didn’t need a feeling out process as they were swinging for the bleachers and landing at will. In the second round, Reyes could be heard breathing heavily as he was happy to get in an exchange with Prochazka, with his back toward the fence. Unfortunately, this left him vulnerable to a spinning elbow that knocked Reyes face-first into the canvas. A huge opportunity missed for Reyes, but with his talent. If he can get back to his best we could see him back in the title talk in a year or so.

What next for Reyes

If he clears his medical suspension well and gets enough time to recover.

Two matchups come to mind for Reyes and those would be bouts against:

Thiago Santos 21-9 who like Reyes has been on a three-fight skid following a loss to Jon Jones. Two certified finishers who have found the going tough will be an easy sell for Dana White.

Anthony Smith 35-16 who looked fantastic against Jimmy Crute a few weeks back. Smith and Reyes have beef if one is to read the tea leaves on their Twitter accounts. This matchup would be exciting for the fans.

Philani Mukwakwami


Sports are a hobby horse of mine, what happens in-between the lines is just as thrilling as what happens outside of them.