Odds/Prediction: Dominick Reyes (-280) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+230)
The less-talked-about championship fight set to entertain at UFC 253 sees Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz go head to head for the vacant light heavyweight belt.
Someone not called Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier will win the championship for the first time in 10 years, and both challengers have a right to think they’re the more deserving man.
Reyes, 30, has risen quickly since making his UFC debut in June 2017, and legend figure Jones is the only blemish on his otherwise perfect record (12-1) following their five-round war in February.
Blachowicz—seven years his senior—has spent twice as long in the promotion and has won seven of his last eight fights, but there’s room to argue none of his previous foes pose the same threat as “The Devastator.”
Dominick Reyes 𝕍 Jan Blachowicz is going to be absolute fireworks 🔥— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 22, 2020
Both men have huge knockout power.
Both men want to become UFC champ.
This weekend, we will have a UFC light-heavyweight champion not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier for the first time since 2011 🤯 #UFC253 pic.twitter.com/RCMNt5HYEB
Following his narrow loss to Jones, Reyes leads as a -280 favorite with William Hill for New Jersey, Colorado and Illinois customers. The Californian has won three of his six UFC fights via KO or TKO and is +120 to finish Blachowicz that way on Saturday.
The “Prince of Cieszyn” has collected two KOs in his last three outings and is a +450 to become the first fighter to knock Reyes out, tempting for a small to mid-size wager considering the Pole’s punches are a constant threat.
Blachowicz has gone five rounds once before in his career and beat Jacare Souza over that distance last November. However, Reyes went close with Jones more recently and should have the technical advantages required to edge the biggest fight of either fighter’s career to date.
Prediction: Reyes via KO/TKO