Next up in the UFC, we have UFC Vegas 25: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka on Saturday, May 1st. This may not turn out to be an event like UFC 261, but there’s still going to be lots of fights to keep us entertained. To find some value for this weekend, read along and see what UFC Picks I’m liking for this upcoming Fight Night.
Sean Strickland vs. Krzysztof Jotko
UFC Middleweight Bout – Main Card
Saturday, May 01, 2021 – 11:35 PM EDT at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas
Sean “Tarzan” Strickland is an American mixed martial artist currently ranked #15 in the UFC Middleweight division. Before making his way to the UFC, Strickland competed for King of the Cage. He made his debut in 2008 and built up an undefeated record of 9-0 before competing in the KOTC Middleweight Championship in 2013 - Strickland won via split decision. He finally made his UFC debut in 2014 at UFC 171 - he competed against Bubba McDaniel and won via submission in the first round. Of his accomplishments, he is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, KOTC Middleweight Champion with five title defenses, 2020 Comeback Fighter of the Year, and UFC Performance of the Night vs. Brendan Allen.
Krzysztof Jotko is a Polish mixed martial artist with a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2013, Jotko fought at MMA Attack and competed against Bojan Velckovic - he won via unanimous decision. Later in that same year, he then made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 33 against Bruno Santos - he won via unanimous decision. Of all his MMA accomplishments, he has won ‘Fight of the Night’ in MMA Attack vs. Bojan Velickovic and UFC ‘Performance of the Night’ vs. Tamdan McCory.
In this matchup, we have a southpaw vs. orthodox in Jotko and Strickland. This is a fight that should definitely stay on the feet and become a tough striking match. Both these guys could definitely hold their chin to make it to the scorecards; Jotko holds 15 decision wins out of his 22 total wins.
They both have wonderful takedown defenses - Strickland has a takedown percentage of 81% and Jotko 87%. However, Strickland has a more efficient takedown accuracy at an average of 60% - Jotko’s takedown accuracy is at 37%. Strickland is also the faster paced fighter that has shown to have good cardio. His striking is even remarkable; he averages 5.09 strikes per minute while defending 66%. If Jotko can only manage 2.98 significant strikes per minute, he’s going to have to push at a higher output in order to defeat Tarzan. In my opinion, Jotko has not fought as tough competition as Strickland - Strickland fought recently against Brendan Allen back in November 2020. He also competed against Kamaru Usman back in 2017. He lost via unanimous decision, but that is still experience in the octagon with the now UFC Welterweight Champion. I believe this fight will definitely make it to the scorecards. Since Strickland has juiced UFC Odds at -260, I’m taking the MMA Props.
UFC Pick: Sean Strickland by Points +140 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review)
Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka
UFC Light Heavyweight Bout
Saturday, May 01, 2021 - 10:35 PM EDT at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas
Dominick “the Devastator” Reyes is an American mixed martial artist that is currently ranked #3 in the UFC Light Heavyweight division. He grew up as a young athlete where he participated in wrestling and American football. He grew up aspiring to be an NFL player, so he pursued football in college at the Stony Brook University. After graduating college, he had hopes of being drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. Reyes then moved back to California and began training in MMA. He finally made his UFC debut in 2017 against Joachim Christensen - he won via TKO and also earned the ‘Performance of the Night” bonus.
Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka is a Czech professional mixed martial artist with a muay thai background. He is currently ranked #5 in the UFC heavyweight division and ranked #8 in the Fight Matrix’s light heavyweight quarterly rankings. Prochazka made his professional MMA debut in 2012 for the Gladiator Fighting Championship. After his tenth professional bout, he became the GFC Light Heavyweight Champion with one successful title defense.
Prochazka has been very successful in the Rizin Fighting Federation. He made his professional debut in 2015 against Satoshi Ishii and won via knockout in round one. In 2019 at Rizin 15, Prochazka became the Inaugural Light Heavyweight Champion. He signed with the UFC in 2020 and made his debut against Volkan Oezdemir - he won via second round knockout. Jiri Prochazka has many accomplishments under his name: 2013 Czech Fight of the Year, 2015 RIZIN Heavyweight Grand Prix Runner Up, Rizin FF Light Heavyweight Championship, and more.
I included the main event fight in my Top UFC Picks video again for this week, but if you haven't seen it, then let me explain.
On paper, I can see why the public is all over Jiri for a T/KO win - Prochaza is on a 9 T/KO win-streak with 7 of those being in the first round. Jiri has been dominating in Rizin FF having only one loss to Muhammed Lawal back in 2015.
Dominick Reyes, on the other hand, is on a 2 fight losing streak, but those losses were against some of the BEST in the division - Jon Jones and Jan Blachowicz! Jiri did have a great UFC debut against Volkan Oezdemir - he won via KO in the sound round at UFC 251. Reyes is extremely well-rounded; if he’s able to survive the first two rounds with Jiri, then the fight should fall in his hands. I expect Reyes to be tough competition for Jiri on Saturday night.