By: Jesse Donathan
The surging light heavyweight prospect Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes (12-0, 7 KOs) knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (14-5, 6 KOs) in the first round of their UFC on ESPN 6 main event fight in Boston, Massachusetts Friday night on ESPN 2 and in the process cemented himself as among the top light heavyweight contenders in the division.
The tale of the tape for Friday night’s main event had the 29-year old Reyes listed at 6-foot-4-inches tall, 203.5 pounds with a 77-inch reach. Conversely, his 35-year old opponent Weidman came into the fight listed at 6-foot-2, 204-pounds with a 78-inch reach; the “two-inch” height advantage for Reyes was readily apparent when the two fighters met in the center of the Octagon with referee Herb Dean to receive their final instructions.
Touching gloves as the combatants got to work, Reyes immediately opened up with a leg kick that found its mark early on, another kick from Reyes missed and Weidman immediately shot in under a Reyes punch, pressing the undefeated prospect against the cage and eventually securing the body lock takedown. Reyes would rather comfortably make his way back to his feet, the cage no doubt aiding in his ability to fight off the continued pressure from a Chris Weidman who was all over “The Devastator” like white on rice, looking to take the fight back down to the mat. After some body shots from Weidman, one of which forced Reyes to look at the referee momentarily, perhaps protesting its curiously low nature, the two would separate.
After some brief pawing at one another, Weidman went on the offensive and walked right into a Reyes counter left hook that sent the former middleweight champion crashing down to the canvas in serious trouble. Patiently, with Weidman badly hurt on his back, Reyes would control Weidman’s left leg as he repeatedly hammer fisted the stunned Weidman who was unable to intelligently defend himself, forcing referee Herb Dean call a halt to the contest at just 1-minute, 43-seconds into the first round, securing perhaps the biggest win of Reyes career to date.
During the post-fight interview, the well-spoken Reyes was all class in showing respect for his opponent Chris Weidman and specifically called out light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, putting the champion on notice that he fully intends to come for his 205-pound championship title belt.
In breaking with the relatively recent protocol in avoiding interviewing fighters immediately after a TKO or KO loss, an obviously disappointed Weidman was interviewed by UFC reporter Jon Anik and was able to effectively articulate to the Boston crowd his appreciation for their support in coming out to see him fight and declared “God is good” before leaving the cage to head to the locker room, the former middleweight champion all class in defeat.