Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again last night (Fri., Oct. 18, 2019), as UFC on ESPN 6 went down from inside TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. In the headlining act, Dominick Reyes knocked out Chris Weidman in the very first round (see it here), potentially setting him for a Light Heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones. In the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens finally settled their issues, as “El Pantera” won the grudge match in a thrilling three-round affair that saw each man walk away with an extra $50,000 in post-fight bonus cash.
Biggest Winner: Dominick Reyes
“The Devastator” remained undefeated (12-0, 6-0 UFC) after spoiling Chris Weidman’s Light Heavyweight debut with a devastating first-round knockout. And it was a thing of beauty, as Reyes showed once again he has power even while backing away, popping “All American” with a vicious left while retreating and then countering, much like he did to Ovince Saint Preux.
From there, a few hammer fists ended Weidman’s night, giving him his fifth loss — all via knockout — in his last six outings. Reyes, meanwhile, made no “Bones” about who gets Jones next, as he is perfect inside the Octagon, and has the size and power to make it an interesting showdown against the 205-pound champion.
Runner Up: Yair Rodriguez
After three weeks of waiting, Rodriguez got his much-desired win over Stephens after their fight at UFC Mexico City ended in a “No Contest” just 15 seconds in. There was a lot of drama following that first fight, and it all boiled over into the Octagon right away, as both men came out swinging with bad intentions. It was a wildly-entertaining, three-round affair, which obviously left fans wanting more ... especially since the first encounter was scheduled for five rounds.
Still, Rodriguez pulled out the entire arsenal, showing if his wide array of kicks and strikes. But it was the kicking game that really bothered Stephens, as the attack came quick and often. In fact, Rodriguez dropped Stephens with a brutal liver kick. While Rodriguez tried his best to end it soon thereafter, Stephens stayed strong and survived the ground-and-pound. And though Stephens came out aggressive in round three, it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit after the first two frames. Now, Rodriguez will take a step up at 145 pounds, while Stephens goes back to the drawing board. Still, it was good to see the two men show great sportsmanship and respect toward one another afterward.
Biggest Loser: Chris Weidman
Weidman’s move up a weight class proved disastrous, as “All American” was knocked out by Reyes, who showed why he is a dangerous man on the feet. After getting clipped early on, Weidman went to his wrestling, but Reyes hung tough and managed to overcome it. perhaps a bit overzealous, Weidman rushed in and whiffed on a strike, which allowed Reyes to connect with his famous step back left, which dropped the former Middleweight king.
From there, three hammer fists was all it took to end Weidman’s night. That is now two-straight knockout defeats for Weidman. Going back a bit further, Weidman has lost five of his last six fights via knockout, which is pretty alarming. In fact, even in his fight against Kelvin Gastleum, he got dropped by the smaller man, though he did manage to come back and score a submission victory. Where Weidman goes from here is anyone’s guess. Retirement, though, is highly-unlikely.
For full play-by-play updates and results for UFC on ESPN 6: “Reyes vs Weidman” click here.