Undefeated prospect Dominick Reyes (11-0, 6 KOs, 2 SUBs) will meet former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (14-4, 6 KOs, 4 SUBs) at UFC on ESPN 6 on Saturday, October 18, 2019 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA. The main card airs live on ESPN starting 9pm ET.
Will a jump up to light heavyweight revive Chris Weidman’s flagging career? This Saturday, the former middleweight champion will make his 205-pound debut, and he’s jumping right into the fire: awaiting him is undefeated Dominick Reyes, who is currently ranked No. 4 and hunting for a title shot.
There’s a lot at stake here, along with some interesting bets in the UFC odds at Betcris. Sign Up at Betcris! and let’s take a look your best betting option. Just a reminder: Live UFC betting is available to make in-play wagers on real-time line updates.
Weidman comes into the matchup having lost four of his past five, though all of those defeats came against elite middleweights in Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo Souza. The lone win during that slide was an impressive submission over Kelvin Gastelum, who most recently challenged for an interim title. Clearly, the UFC still regards The All-American highly given his level of competition. But a loss in his first light heavyweight matchup would leave him in a tough spot: a big name without the recent wins to back him up.
Reyes is a former NFL prospect and is still relatively young in his MMA career. However, he’s been impressive in regional competition and inside the octagon, compiling a 5-0 UFC record with wins over ranked fighters in Jared Cannonier, Ovince St. Preux and former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. Still, Weidman would be the biggest scalp on his belt should he win, and an impressive performance against a former champ could be the final argument for a title shot - the division certainly needs fighters with cojones to step into the cage with Jon Jones.
- Dominick Reyes -160
- Chris Weidman +127
- Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +250 / -350
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Reyes 5.05 / Weidman 3.15
- Striking accuracy: Reyes 52% / Weidman 42%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Reyes 2.27 / Weidman 3.23
- Striking defense: Reyes 58% / Weidman 51%
- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Reyes 0.4 / Weidman 3.76
- Takedown accuracy: Reyes 16% / Weidman 52%
- Takedown defense: Reyes 85% / Weidman 73%
- Submissions per 15 minutes: Reyes 0.4 / Weidman 1.02
Like other great athletes from non-combat sports, Reyes’ early MMA success was predicated mostly on his ability to overwhelm overmatched opponents with a combination of speed, power and athleticism. That style continued to garner results against lower level UFC fighters like Joachim Christensen and Jeremy Kimball. However, leveling up to guys like OSP and Oezdemir immediately showed that Reyes couldn’t just run over upper echelon fighters. To his credit, he showed the ability to go the distance, doing enough to take the wins in some extremely close fights.
Weidman’s transition to a bigger weight class comes with a lot of questions. He wasn’t a huge middleweight to begin with, but size was definitely a factor in utilizing his collegiate wrestling skills. Now he’s have to work against bigger guys, though he might get a bump in conditioning - not that it was a problem to begin with. Most concerning is how he’s been knocked out in his past four losses. Even though a knockout is always brutally violent, Weidman suffered startling amounts of damage in a number of them. It’s safe to say that he’s not the same fighter, and we can justifiably question his chin.
UFC Odds Pick: Reyes to win at -160
Online oddsmakers opened with Reyes as a moderate favorite, and honestly we were surprised he wasn’t more expensive. Weidman’s technical wrestling ability is the exact skillset that can give a prospect like Reyes trouble, but it’s impossible to trust his chin against such an explosive athlete. Much like his past losses, we expect a sudden burst of violence that leads to another grim Weidman finish. Take any line over -200 on Reyes.