Former UFC middleweight champion Christ Weidman makes his 205-pound debut against the unbeaten Dominick Reyes in the main event of UFC on ESPN 6 at the TD Garden in Boston on October 18, 2019
Known as the All-American for earning two such NCAA Division 1 awards as a collegiate wrestler at Nassau Community College before transferring to Hofstra, Weidman broke into the UFC scene when he upset Anderson Silva at UFC 162 via second round knockout. Weidman successfully defended the title three times before losing it to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194.
Weidman stands 6-2 and has a reach of 68 inches while fighting as a southpaw. The All-American has a record of 14-4 with six knockouts and four wins by way of submission. The loss to Rockhold was his first defeat and it has led to a total of four knockout losses in his last five bouts. Weidman is coming off a 2nd round KO loss to Jacare Souza at UFC 230.
Weidman’s had an impressive UFC career but we’ve his form drop tremendously in the last couple of years, beginning with the Rockhold loss. When he fought Souza last year, it was his first fight in over a year and the long absence took its toll on him. Weidman is a terrific wrestler with a very good submission game. But his poor form and long layoffs are going to make it hard for him to succeed again, especially at a higher weight class.
Odds were taken from Titanbet.com as of 9/20/19
Dominick Reyes is the UFC’s #4 ranked light-heavyweight today and is likely the next challenger to Jon Jones should he beat Chris Weidman in this matchup. The Hesperia, California native is an I.T. graduate from Stony Brook University and worked as an IT Technical Support before turning his focus to MMA. He started his MMA career with the King of Cage promotion, Hoosier Fight Club and LFA before moving to the UFC in 2017.
The Devastator has a record of 11-0 with 6 knockouts to his credit. Reyes stands 6-4 and has a reach of 77 inches while fighting as a southpaw. He is 5-0 in the UFC with three stoppages although his last two wins have come by decision. In his most recent bout, Reyes eked out a split decision win over former 205-pound title challenger Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 147.
Reyes is a smart and athletic fighter who has excellent hand speed for his size and he is an aggressive striker. His takedowns are polished although he prefers to fight on his feet where his devastating punching power and accuracy make him very dangerous. He is also effective using his legs but if there’s an area of weakness for Reyes, it is his conditioning. He has a tendency to slow down late in fights although he proved against Oezdemir that he could win a close fight by decision. Reyes has never gone five rounds before and it will be interesting to see him possibly do it against a former champion in Chris Weidman.
Chris Weidman heads to his 205-pound debut as the MMA betting underdog against the 4th ranked Dominick Reyes. Weidman is a natural middleweight and will be giving up two inches in height as well as natural size to his opponent. Also, Reyes is a southpaw so he could present problems for Weidman in the stand-up.
But we know that Chris Weidman’s game is really wrestling and he will do his best to take Reyes to the ground and make this an ugly affair. Weidman averages over three takedowns per fight with a 52% accuracy. But not only is Reyes a naturally bigger man, he also has an excellent 85% takedown defense.
Reyes will prefer to fight Weidman in the stand up where he has heavier hands. Reyes averages two more significant strikes landed per minute than Weidman and if the All-American decides to strike with Reyes, he is going to be outgunned and possibly overpowered.
Weidman also has the advantage in experience here as he has fought the better opposition in his career. Reyes has never fought five rounds before while Weidman has been in deep waters in some of his biggest fights. However, with a title shot looming, the Devastator knows what’s at stake and he will do everything to get his first ever crack at a world title.
I admire Chris Weidman for moving up in weight and taking on a Top 5 light heavyweight in his debut. However, I think he picked the wrong guy to mess with. Reyes is known as the Devastator and he is on a roll in the UFC. Weidman has lost four out of his last five bouts and those were against middleweights. Dominick Reyes has terrific punching power and if Weidman can’t take him down, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the former middleweight king. I think Reyes is too strong for Chris Weidman. I’m picking Dominick Reyes to beat Chris Weidman. Prediction: Dominick Reyes