Dominick Reyes seemed to be on his way to a decision loss at the hands of Volkan Oezdemir, but the UFC London judges had other ideas.
Dominick Reyes is a very bright light heavyweight prospect. Winning five of his first six fights by first-round stoppage punched his ticket to the UFC. That run continued in the Octagon stopping his first three opponents in the first round, two by TKO and one by submission. Reyes passed by gatekeeper Ovince Saint Preux last October to cement himself as a top prospect at light heavyweight.
Volkan Oezdemir is known for his quick knockouts. After a short-notice UFC debut victory over Ovince Saint Preux, the Swiss fighter only needed 70 seconds to knock out both Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa. Since then, he’s fallen to champion Daniel Cormier and top contender Anthony Smith.
Reyes landed a leg kick to start the fight. Jabs were thrown out by both fighters, but neither were landing effecively. As Volkan landed a body kick, Reyes swept him off his feet with a leg kick. Soon after, Oezdemir did the same thing to Reyes and followed him to the ground. The fight did not stay there long as Reyes got back to his feet. Oezdemir landed a nice double-leg takedown against the fence. Again, Reyes worked his way up quickly. Oezdemir blitzed in with several combinations and won the first round.
Oezdemir slipped after a blocked punch in the beginning of the second round. A body kick landed for Reyes, then both men had takedowns stuffed. Oezdmir continued to push forward and get the better of Reyes. Reyes shot for another takedown, but couldn’t get Volkan down. Volkan doubled-up on a jab as he continued to outstrike Reyes. Reyes landed a right hand then stuffed a takedown to end the round.
Volkan scored a takedown to start the final round, but again, Reyes got back up quickly. Oezdemir committed to leg kicks as Reyes was looking for power shots down two rounds. Oezdemir landed a body kick then went to a clinch against the cage. Reyes broke free and briefly had Octagon control as Volkan backpedaled after getting hit. Reyes stuffed a pair of takedowns, but couldn’t mount much of a comeback effort.
Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)