Top welterweight contenders Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka clash in the main event of UFC Vegas 25 on Saturday night at the APEX Facility in Las Vegas.
This marks Reyes’ first bout since losing to Jan Blachowicz for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 253. Meanwhile, Prochazka is coming off a knockout win over Volkan Oezdemir in his promotional debut at UFC 251 and has won his last 11 bouts.
Let’s take a look at the fights on the main card and make our predictions.
Dominick Reyes is the no. 3 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 31-year old from Hesperia, California challenged but lost to Jon Jones at UFC 247 for the light heavyweight title. The Dominator fought for the title again at UFC 253, after Jones vacated the belt, but was defeated by current champion Jan Blachowicz. He has a record of 12-2 with seven knockouts and two submission wins. He stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 77 inches and fights out of the southpaw stance.
Jiri Prochazka is the UFC’s no. 5 ranked light heavyweight contender. The 28-year old from the Czech Republic was the inaugural Rizin FF light heavyweight champion. He made his UFC debut at UFC 251, knocking out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round. Prochazka has won 11 consecutive bouts since losing to King Mo Lawal in 2015. He has a record of 27-3 with 24 knockouts and two submission wins. Prochazka is 6-3 tall with a reach of 80 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Reyes is one of the best 205-pound fighters in the UFC right now. He has crisp boxing, power in both hands, plus solid wrestling and jiu-jitsu games, and his losses have come against the best in the division. Prochazka was thrown to the wolves in his UFC debut hit he ended up winning via highlight reel knockout. Reyes will try to pressure Prochazka but the latter is quick and has the physical advantage here. This should be an exciting firefight but Prochazka hits harder and maybe more durable.
Prediction: Jiri Prochazka
Swanson is the 15th ranked featherweight in the UFC. A veteran since 2004, the 37-year old has won his last two bouts after losing four in a row from December 2017 to May 2019. He holds the record for most post-fight bonuses in the history of the featherweight division. Swanson has a record of 27-11 with 12 knockouts and four submission victories. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 70 inches.
Giga Chikadze is ranked 14th in the UFC’s featherweight division. The 32-year old from Georgia is a former GLORY kickboxer who joined the UFC in 2018. Chikadze is 5-0 inside the UFC Octagon and heads to this fight coming off a TKO win over Jeremy Simmons. He has a record of 12-2 with seven knockouts and one submission win. Chikadze is six feet tall with a reach of 74 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Chikadze has a four-inch advantage in height and reach. He also has the takedown defense to prevent Swanson from taking the fight to the ground if it doesn’t work out on the feet for the veteran. On the feet, Swanson is dangerous as ever and he has the edge in the quality of opposition faced. However, Swanson has taken a lot of damage in his career and although he may be too tough for Chikadze to knock out, the latter still has the striking skills to win a fight on points.
Prediction: Giga Chikadze
Ion Cutelaba fought for WWFC before joining the UFC in 2016. The 27-year old Moldovan known as the Hulk is 4-5 inside the Octagon and heads to this fight having lost three out of his last four bouts. Overall, Cutelaba has a record of 15-6 with 12 knockouts and two submission wins. He stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 75 inches while fighting out of the southpaw stance.
Dustin Jacoby is a former GLORY kickboxer who also fought for Bellator, WSOF, and Titan FC. A former CFFC middleweight champion, Jacoby appeared in the Contender Series 27 where he defeated Ty Flores. He is undefeated in two UFC bouts and is coming off a win over Maxim Grishin. He is 14-5 with 9 knockouts and one submission win. Jacoby is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 76 inches.
Cutelaba is never in a boring fight. He is a skilled wrestler who has power in his hands. And he always brings intensity into the cage while trying to overwhelm his opponents. Jacoby meanwhile is a more controlled fighter. This former Glory kickboxer is a rangy and crafty striker who likes to break down his opponent with outside sniping. I think Jacoby will pose a problem for Cutelaba but in the end, Cutelaba’s wrestling and his aggression will force Jacoby to fight on the mat. Once you get a kickboxer down, it’s easy from there.
Prediction: Ion Cutelaba
Poland’s Jotko joined the UFC in 2013 and won six out of his first seven bouts. The 31-year old lost three straight bouts from 2017-2018 but has since won three consecutive decisions against Alen Amedovski, Marc-Andre Barriault, and Eryk Anders. Jotko has a record of 22-4 with six knockouts and one win via submission. He stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 77 inches and fights as a southpaw.
Sean Strickland is the 15th ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 30-year old from New Bern, North Carolina is a former King of Cage middleweight champion. Strickland has won his last three bouts and has a record of 22-3 with 10 knockouts and four submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 76 inches.
Strickland has the speed advantage and his boxing has controlled the pace of his fights at 185 pounds. On the other hand, Jotko has bounced back from a skid using his wrestling skills. But despite going back to wrestling, his kickboxing skills remain on point. Jotko has been with the best in the division but Strickland is gaining momentum for himself. I don’t think Jotko can force Strickland to fight on the ground. Strickland’s jab will be the key to this fight. I think he wins a striking battle.
Prediction: Sean Strickland
Dvalishvili is the 12th ranked bantamweight in the UFC and a former Ring of Combat bantamweight champion. The 30-year old from Georgia has won five straight bouts and is coming off a win over John Dodson. He has a record of 12-4 with two knockouts and one submission win. Dvalishvili is is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 68 inches.
Cody Stamann is ranked 13th in the UFC’s bantamweight division. The 31-year old from Grand Rapids, Michigan won his first three UFC bouts but is just 2-2-1 in his last five outings and is coming off a loss to Jimmie Rivera. Stamann has a record of 19-3 with six knockouts and two submission wins. He is 5-6 tall with a reach of 64 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Dvalishvili is like a tornado. He throws jump kicks and spinning punches like no tomorrow. He confuses his opponents with incredible volume and weird angles. Then he looks for takedowns and likes to keep the fight on the ground. Stamann is the more controlled fighter. He uses smart angles and maintains a good distance. Stamann is also one of the best wrestlers in the division so we could see excellent scrambles here. This should be a close fight but Dvalishvili’s sheer volume will give him the edge in this one.
Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili
Botelho is the former XFC women’s flyweight champion and joined the UFC after the title conquest. After winning two of her first three Octagon assignments, Botelho has dropped two of three and is coming off a loss against Gillian Robertson. Her record stands at 8-3 with six knockouts. Botelho is 5-8 tall with a reach of 67 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Carolina joined the Contender Series Brazil in 2018 where she defeated Mabelly Lima to earn a UFC contract. This 27-year old from Sao Paulo, Brazil is 1-1 inside the Octagon after losing to Ariane Lipski in her most recent bout. She is 6-2 with two knockouts and one submission loss. Carolina is 5-6 tall with a reach of 69 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.
Botelho has excellent Muay Thai skills and she started her UFC career strong. Carolina has demonstrated solid kickboxing skills inside the Octagon and she often outstrikes her opponents. This should be a stand-up battle with plenty of leg kicks thrown back and forth. Botelho has the physical advantage. She hits harder and if there’s a scramble, she will likely end up on top. I’ll go with Botelho’s experience here.
Prediction: Poliana Botelho
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.