Light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes attempted to establish himself against former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir tonight (Saturday, March 16, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 147, inside O2 Arena in London, England, live on ESPN+. Reyes was undefeated, at 10-0, while Oezdemir was riding a two-fight losing streak, coming off a hard-fought loss to Anthony Smith.
Reyes opened with a hard leg kick. He went high with his next kick, a key weapon from southpaw for him. Oezdemir tried to counter and Reyes leaned away from his combination. Oezdemir slipped but Reyes missed when he tried to make him pay. Volkan landed a combination as Reyes circled. Reyes threw a low kick as Oezdemir spun after missing one, and accidentally connected on Volkan’s cup. Another inside leg kick from Reyes. Volkan landed a combination and Reyes countered. Reyes slipped and Volkan took top position, but Reyes quickly scooted to the fence and got up. Volkan tried a double right hand but Reyes avoided both. Volkan slipped inside and landed a takedown from the clinch. Reyes got to the cage and scrambled up again. They exchanged quick punches in the center of the cage. Reyes landed a front kick to the body, then ducked under a hook and landed a left straight.
Reyes kicked low and got his hands up to block Volkan’s counter overhand. He caught Volkan on one leg with a counter and Volkan slipped to the floor briefly. Reyes tried for an overhand. He circled and looked for a counter as Volkan came in. Reyes jabbed to the body and circled in both directions. Both men tried shots that didn’t work. Reyes jabbed and Volkan countered. Volkan landed a knee on Reyes. Reyes tried for a shot, Volkan stuffed it, then he landed a body kick. Reyes landed a couple jabs. Low kick and a left straight from Reyes. Reyes circled out and landed a left straight, then held off a determined takedown attempt by Volkan to end the round.
The commentators seem to believe that Reyes is down two rounds, but the second round was very close. Volkan tried for a takedown, and got it for a second, but Reyes got his hips under him and scrambled back up. Reyes tried for a lead hook and Volkan tried to counter. Reyes stepped in with a combination that Volkan mostly blocked. Reyes landed a one-two, blocked a high kick. Volkan timed a punch to shoot in, and Reyes stuffed him again. Oezdemir held him against the cage for a little while before backing off. Reyes landed a hard knee as he stepped in. Volkan seemed a little hurt, and Reyes began walking him down a bit, landing punches to the body and head. Reyes whiffed on a high kick. Left straight to the body by Reyes. They exchanged punches. Volkan landed a right hook. They exchanged again, Volkan landing a clubbing right hook as the final buzzer sounded.
“That was a tough fight. He is a tough opponent. I took some shots and I gave some shots... but I deserved that win.” He said he didn’t have any opponent in mind, but looked straight at the camera and said “I’m coming for you, Jon Jones. I’m coming for you.” He said anyone in London who sees him in the streets in the next week to say hello, he would love to take a picture with you. It was a close fight, but Reyes deservedly edged the last two rounds for the win. This should be a learning experience for him; it won’t see him jump Thiago Santos in line for the next title shot, but the win keeps him on track.
Official result: Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29)
Fight Night 147 results, including play-by-play, click here