UFC: Reyes confident of beating Prochazka, predicts Blachowicz vs Teixeira

Ahead of the Jiri Prochazka fight at UFC Vegas 25, Light Heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes opens up on his training, the Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira bout and Jon Jones.

Dominick Reyes is determined to overturn his fortunes and seal another championship contest soon.   -  UFC MEDIA

After going undefeated in his first 12 MMA fights, UFC star Dominick Reyes suffered two straight defeats in title fights last year. The No. 3 Light Heavyweight contender will return to the Octagon after seven months when he takes on the No. 5-ranked Jiri Prochazka at UFC Vegas 25 in Nevada on Saturday.

Reyes had lost to former champion Jon Jones via an unanimous decision at UFC 247 in February 2020, while he squandered the opportunity to claim the vacant Light Heavyweight belt at UFC 253 during a second-round TKO rout at the hands of current titleholder Jan Blachowicz in the Fight Island, UAE. Blachowicz is now scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at this September's UFC 266 next. 

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Meanwhile, the 31-year-old American Reyes is more determined than ever to overturn his fortunes and seal another championship contest soon.

In an interview with Sportstar, he spoke about his plans for the future, strategies to tackle Prochazka, the Blachowicz vs Teixeira clash, Jon Jones, and more.

What are the positives you took out from your two title fights last year?

Now, I know what to expect. I'm a lot calmer. It's been two title fights, so I learned a lot. There was a lot to deal with mentally and physically. But mentally, it's a bigger challenge. There are always lots of different opinions. There are currently more eyes on me who care about the outcome.

Jiri Prochazka is on an 11-bout winning streak. How confident are you about beating him?

I think a spectacular win against him might give me that path back to the title. A victory over Prochazka, and then I guess Aleksandar Rakic is ahead of me, so I fight him and then for the gold. It's pretty straightforward because there are only two guys ahead of me, and one of them has a title fight.

You are a diverse fighter who has won by knockout, decisions and submissions. What are your strategies to overcome the hard-hitting Prochazka?

My strengths are my mental, athletic, boxing, and wrestling abilities. And my keys to victory are just trusting my instincts and fighting a clean fight. When he wants chaos, I've got to stay clean and sharp.

How will you change your approach if you get the Jan Blachowicz rematch?

I was my biggest opponent last fight. I prevented myself from going out there and winning. I want to just go out there and fight my fight. I didn't fight my fight last time, so I wasn't proud of my performance. I didn't move the way I wanted to move. I was hesitant and tentative. I won't do that again.

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How do you feel about Jon Jones' move to the heavyweight division?

It's a cowardly move. Jones flat out avoided me, and there's no other way around it.

Have you fully recovered from your most recent injury?

I'm now one hundred per cent. Now, my injury is fully healed and taken care of, and I'm good to go.

Your predictions for the Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira UFC 266 fight?

Overall, that is going to be just a great fight. In that fight, I think it's going to come down to who has better conditioning in the end. I can't predict the result because both are evenly matched. I think it's going to be a classic fight.

Watch UFC Fight Night - Reyes vs Prochazka this Sunday (in India), May 2, 2021, LIVE from 7:30 am IST only on Sony Ten 2 (English) and Sony Ten 3 (Hindi) channels.

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