A new star may have just been born in one of the UFC’s major divisions.
It was only the third elbow KO in UFC history and Prochazka is the toughest man to do this feat in the Octagon. The spectacular finish is likely to be a Knockout of the Year candidate.
The finish came as the culmination of nearly two rounds of a Prochazka attack. Prochazka bled Reyes with unorthodox combinations from the position change in the first round. Reyes often landed with beautiful left counters, but Prochazka’s chin and pace were impressive. He never stopped until Reyes withered after the twisting left elbow, which came after a right elbow with Reyes against the cage.
“I just flow,” said Prochazka in his interview after the fight. “After some setbacks from Dominick, I don’t have a chance to think about some of the plans. I was just in the flow. [I thought], ‘Then maybe a twisting elbow. Okay, let’s try. ”
ESPN had put Reyes in fourth place in the world in light heavyweight and Prochazka in number 10. UFC president Dana White said in the run-up to this fight the winner could be next in line for a light heavyweight title shot. Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz will defend the belt against Glover Teixeira at UFC 266 in September.
Prochazka (28-3-1) has won 12 consecutive times. Saturday night marked Prochazka’s 25th career win by knockout and his 10th consecutive KO / TKO finish.
The resident of the Czech Republic eliminated the former title challenger Volkan Uzdemir in his UFC debut in July. Prochazka, 28, is the former light heavyweight champion of the Japanese Rizin promotion. He has a victory over Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov.
“I just want to share the beauty of martial arts,” said Prochazka of his fighting style, which incorporates traditional martial arts.
Reyes (12-3) has now dropped three straights. In his most recent bout, he was knocked out by Blachowicz in a vacant light heavyweight title fight at UFC 253 last September. The California native is best known for his amazing experiences. Jon Jones to the brim in a unanimous decision loss at UFC 247 in February 2020, a fight many thought Reyes should have won.
Reyes, 31, is considered by White to be one of the future faces of the 205-pound division.
But now it looks like it could be Prochazka’s time.