Prochazka KO’s Reyes with spinning again elbow

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A brand new star may need simply been born in one of many UFC’s premier divisions.

Jiri Prochazka knocked out Dominick Reyes with a spinning again elbow at 4 minutes, 29 seconds of the second spherical Saturday evening in the primary occasion of UFC Combat Evening in Las Vegas.

It was solely the third spinning again elbow KO in UFC historical past, and Prochazka is the heaviest man to tug off the feat within the Octagon. The spectacular end will seemingly be a Knockout of the 12 months candidate.

The end got here because the fruits of almost two rounds of a Prochazka onslaught. Prochazka bloodied Reyes with unorthodox mixtures out of switching stances within the first spherical. Reyes landed lovely left-hand counters typically, however Prochazka’s chin and tempo have been spectacular. He by no means stopped coming till Reyes wilted following the spinning left again elbow, which got here after a proper elbow with Reyes in opposition to the cage.

“I simply circulate,” Prochazka mentioned in his postfight interview. “After some counterpunches from Dominick, I can don’t have any probability to assume for some plans. I simply was within the circulate. [I thought], ‘After that, perhaps spinning elbow. OK, let’s attempt it.'”

Coming in, ESPN had Reyes ranked No. 4 on the earth at gentle heavyweight and Prochazka at No. 10. UFC president Dana White mentioned main into this battle that the winner might be subsequent in line for a light-weight heavyweight title shot. Gentle heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will defend the belt in opposition to Glover Teixeira at UFC 266 in September.

Prochazka (28-3-1) has gained 12 straight. Saturday evening marked Prochazka’s twenty fifth profession win by knockout and his tenth straight KO/TKO end.

The Czech Republic native knocked out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in his UFC debut in July. Prochazka, 28, is the previous gentle heavyweight champion of Japan’s Rizin promotion. He owns a victory over Bellator gentle heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov.

“I simply need to share the great thing about martial arts,” Prochazka mentioned of his preventing fashion, which contains conventional martial arts.

Reyes (12-3) has now dropped three straight. In his most up-to-date bout, he was knocked out by Blachowicz in a vacant gentle heavyweight title battle at UFC 253 final September. The California native is most identified for taking all-time nice Jon Jones to the brink in a unanimous resolution loss at UFC 247 in February 2020, a bout many thought Reyes ought to have gained.

Reyes, 31, has been thought-about by White as one of many future faces of the 205-pound division.

However now it looks like it might be Prochazka’s time.