Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick & Prediction (Saturday, May 1)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Dominick Reyes.
- A key light heavyweight matchup highlights Saturday night's UFC Fight Night.
- Dominick Reyes looks to get back on a winning track, while Jiri Prochazka can take down another big name.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the top-five matchup and where he sees betting value.
Reyes vs. Prochazka Odds
One week after putting on a wild show at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, the UFC returns to the small cage at APEX in Las Vegas for a light heavyweight bout between No. 3 contender Dominick Reyes and No. 5 Jiri Prochazka.
Reyes started his professional career 12-0 (also 6-0 as an amateur). He will make his ninth walk to the octagon on Saturday. Still, he’s looking to rebound after consecutive title fight losses to Jon Jones and Jan Blachowicz in February and September of 2020.
Prochazka, a former Rizin champion, defeated UFC vet Volkan Oezdemir in his Octagon debut last July, scoring a performance bonus in the process thanks to a second-round knockout.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:10||5:49|
|Weight (pounds)||205 lbs.||205 lbs.|
|Date of birth||12/26/89||10/14/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.53||5.67|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.16||7.05|
|Take Down Avg||0.20||0.00|
I wouldn’t take too much from Prochazka’s limited UFC data sample (six minutes) and the metrics above, but the striking stats do speak to his wild style.
Prochazka is an action fighter, with 29 of his 31 career fights ending inside the distance, including 26 first-round finishes.
He has the reach and power advantage on Reyes and will throw a ton of shots, but Prochazka will also eat them too. He’s very hittable and not defensively responsible.
In his UFC debut, Prochazka was injured twice by Oezdemir in the first round but ultimately survived and turned the tables.
Given his pressure style, Prochazka’s cardio in a five-round fight is highly questionable. If he doesn’t finish Reyes early, he could start to wilt.
Reyes went five rounds with the GOAT of the light heavyweight division just over a year ago and nearly came away victorious. All three judges scored the bout for Jon Jones, but Reyes won most media (66%) and fan (77%) scorecards. He outstruck Jones 109-101 from range, but Jones was the more accurate man (62% to 44%) and landed two takedowns (nine attempts).
Considering the support in the betting market for Reyes both before and after the Jones fight, I found it surprising that he’s plus money here after fighting the best in the world, especially against a top prospect who has clear deficiencies.
The betting market has previously sided with Reyes — and often quite substantially — before each of his UFC fights.
- vs. Jan Blacohwicz (9/26/20): Opened -200, Closed -305
- vs. Jon Jones (2/8/20): Opened +300, Closed +285
- vs. Chris Weidman (10/18/19): Opened: -185, Closed -210
- vs. Volkan Oezdemir (3/16/19): Opened: -215, Closed -285
- vs. Ovince St. Preux (10/6/18): Opened: -165, Closed -250
- vs. Jared Cannonier (5/19/18): Opened: -210, Closed -285
- vs. Jeremy Kimball (12/2/17): Opened: -405, Closed -550
- vs. Joachim Christensen (6/25/17): Opened: -275, Closed -390
The near-upset of Jones made Reyes a substantial favorite against Blachowicz, and his subsequent knockout loss appears to have catapulted his stock in the opposite direction.
Prochazka certainly has the power to cause a second-consecutive stoppage and do further damage to Reyes’ legacy with a third consecutive defeat.
But Reyes is the more composed and well-rounded fighter. If Prochazka doesn’t find the early knockout, the fight should start to tilt Reyes’ way.
Reyes isn’t the best wrestler, but he can use his grappling to slow the fight down and wear his opponent. Prochazka’s takedown defense and inability to fight off of his back are the most glaring holes in his game based on prior fights. If Reyes and his team has done any tape study, that could be his path of least resistance.
While Prochazka attempts highlight reel attacks of the flying and spinning variety, Reyes will look to chip away with his jab, low kicks, and movement and win a battle of attrition. If he can win some grappling exchanges along the way and avoid getting dropped, I’d say this is his fight to lose.
Reyes vs. Prochazka Pick
I projected Reyes as a slight favorite (51%) in what looks like a coin-flip fight, and I would bet his moneyline down to +105.
I projected this fight to end inside the distance 77% of the time (implied -331), but I show slight value on Reyes’s decision prop (projected +527, listed +550). However, it’s not enough of an edge to make a play in the winning method market.
Prochazka should win the early rounds, and he may close the show early, too – but Reyes is arguably taking a step down in competition and seeing a market overcorrection, on the heels of a knockout loss in a high-profile fight, relative to his previous support.
Reyes could be worth an additional look in the live betting market after Round 2, but I’m comfortable taking a small position on him now.
The Pick: Dominick Reyes +110 (play down to+105)
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