Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz Odds, Pick & Prediction: Expect a Tactical Matchup in UFC 253’s Co-Main Event
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Dominick Reyes.
- Dominick Reyes is the favorite and has championship experience entering his UFC 253 title fight.
- But is he a good bet against the durable Jan Blachowicz at Fight Island?
- Sean Zerillo previews the matchup, including why he's betting the over/under in Saturday's co-main event.
Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz Odds
|Reyes odds||-265 [BET NOW]|
|Blachowicz odds||+215 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-139/+105) [BET NOW]|
|Venue||Yas Island, Abu Dhabi|
|Time||Saturday, 11 p.m. ET|
No. 1-ranked light heavyweight Dominick Reyes will face off against No. 3-ranked Jan Blachowicz for the UFC title that Jon Jones recently vacated in the division. Reyes lost his first attempt at gaining the belt to Jones on February, but he’s the favorite to take him the gold in the co-main event at Fight Island.
Here’s an in-depth preview of Saturday’s matchup below, including how I’m planning to bet the fight before the value is gone. You can also check out my analysis of all 11 bouts here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:07||12:01|
|Weight (pounds)||205 lbs.||205 lbs.|
|Date of birth||12/26/89||2/24/83|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.88||3.45|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.00||2.77|
|Take Down Avg||0.25||1.16|
Reyes vs. Blachowicz Betting Pick
Many people feel that Reyes should already be the UFC’s Light heavyweight champion.
He lost by unanimous decision against Jon Jones in February, but 70% of fans and 14-of-21 media members watching scored the bout for Reyes. He garnered 98% of votes for Round 1, 88% of votes for Round 2, and 85% of votes for Round 3 before Jones started to take over the fight.
Blachowicz has won seven of his past eight bouts while making dramatic improvements to both his stamina and defensive grappling in recent years, but Reyes is the much faster man and his kicks will help to control the fight at distance.
Both men are extremely durable, and I could see this being a 25 minute battle, despite the projection suggesting that this fight will end inside the distance 60% of the time.
Ultimately, I don’t see any actual projection value on this fight, but I am absolutely interested in playing the over in this spot.
Reyes will look to pace himself more after gassing out in the championship rounds against Jones, but the familiarity of going that distance should serve him well in his second opportunity.
Reyes has recorded nine of his 12 wins by first-round finish, but only the knockout against Jared Cannonier — who had previously lost to Blachowicz via decision — truly stands out as a surprise.
Reyes has landed 1.4 extra significant strikes per minute relative to Blachowicz, with an equally superior differential (+1.88 to +0.68), but Jan showed the ability to sustain over five rounds against Jacare Souza – and there’s a chance that he is the fresher man late in this fight.
I expect this bout to largely stay at range and get to those championship rounds, which is why I backed the Over as a small play.
Jan’s moneyline continues to get wider after opening at +170 – and I’m curious to see where the resistance comes in from sharp money.
The Pick: Over 2.5 Rounds (-128, 0.5 units)