Finishing the Fight: UFC 247 — Dominick Reyes’ Devastating Movement and Power

27 UFC Boston Dominick Reyes UFC 253
Credit: Joe McDonagh/Cageside Press

Mixed martial arts fans love a good fight-ending sequence, as often it summarizes the story of the fight in just a few seconds. Getting the finish is a definitive end to a fight that makes a statement: “I was this much better than my opponent at that particular moment in time.”

Every fighter has their go-to moves, especially specialists within certain martial arts disciplines. Their own signature styles that can lead to spectacular finishes. Whether it’s a scary-good rear-naked choke that fighters just can’t seem to avoid once going to the ground or crazy power in a straight left hand that has dropped even granite-chinned fighters with ease, each fighter has a particular finishing move or sequence. Moves that have stuck in fan’s minds and come to define and describe their careers within the cage.

The best predictor of things to come is often learned from the past. So let’s look at how Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone might finish the fight come Saturday at UFC 246.

Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes (12-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC)

Dominick Reyes is a young, dangerous fighter that has quickly risen through the ranks of the UFC’s light heavyweight division. All the way to a title shot at UFC 247. Reyes is predominantly a counter striker with supreme confidence stemming from both his one-punch knockout power and his undefeated professional mixed martial arts record. Dominick has finished 9 of the 12 men that he has faced in his pro career, with only one of those finishes being by way of submission. And every single one of these fights ‘The Devastator’ finished his opponents in the first round.

Reyes went viral with his head kick knockout of Jordan Powell while in the LFA promotion before making his UFC debut a mere 23 days later. The way that Reyes’ melts fighters in spectacular fashion has really fed into his popularity and quick rise to a UFC light heavyweight title shot.

Reyes fights light on his feet and is always constantly moving, often baiting opponents to chase him. But ‘The Devastator’ can stop on a dime and change direction very quickly especially for a man his size. These explosive and athletic movements create huge openings, that more often times than not, Dominick is able to capitalize on.  And with a 6’4″ frame and a 74″ reach, Reyes’ can reach out and hurt guys abruptly and from a distance where they might not even be expecting to be hit or possess the capability to return fire.

In order for Reyes to win in a bout against the greatest light-heavyweight of all time, Jon Jones, at UFC 247, he must force him into his boxing range. Dominick Reyes has exceptional boxing while the champ has been seemingly flawless in every aspect of his game. This is seemingly Reyes’ best path to a victory and possibly a finish as his explosiveness and power are definitely his X factor.

Dominick often baits opposing fighters in by moving backward before planting on his back foot and transferring the momentum through his hips and into a left hand shot moving back across his body. In Dominick’s most recent fight he took on former UFC middleweight champion, Chris Wiedman, back in October of 2019. Reyes used this devastating technique when his opponent was moving in just a little too aggressively and was able to catch him completely off guard with a lightning-fast change in direction. Reyes has used this move on multiple occasions with great effects as he dropped Ovince St. Preux with the same shot in almost the exact same sequence at the end of their 3 round bout in October of 2018.

UFC 247 takes place Saturday, February 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. The main card airs live on PPV.