UFC Vegas 25 can’t come around soon enough as Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka square off in the main event on Saturday.
The main fight is well worth watching. Reyes vs Prochazka has big implications on the light heavyweight division, so keep tuned till the end of the night.
The entire card is packed with high-quality fights, including Giga Chikadze vs Cub Swanson and Sean Strickland vs Krzysztof Jotko.
Our online sportsbook has odds for every fight at UFC Vegas 25 and we look at the main fight card at UFC Apex.
Dominick Reyes vs Jiri Prochazka
Dominick Reyes Record: 12-2-0
Jiri Prochazka Record: 27-3-1
The experience edge goes with Jiri Prochazka, but he’s the younger fighter and he’s in another tough battle.
Dominick Reyes might be 31 years old and fighting with a significant reach disadvantage, but we like his chances to land the telling blow.
Reyes hasn’t fought since September last year when he was knocked out by Jan Blachowicz for the vacant light heavyweight belt, but his level of opposition has been far superior. Prior to that knockout loss, Reyes fought Jon Jones and it went to a decision.
His most recent victory came in 2019 when knocking out Chris Weidman, so there is still power in the punches for the #3-ranked light heavyweight contender.
Jiri Prochazka comes off a second-round knockout win over Volkan Oezdemir, but we question his strength of opposition to date. The former Muay Thai kickboxer is a potential rising star in the UFC, but that doesn’t always translate to success at this level.
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Reyes, who went to a dark place following his loss to Jan Blachowicz, spoke about how he has responded.
“Second loss, first time ever being beaten,” Reyes told MMAJunkie at Wednesday’s media day at the UFC Apex. “It was tough. It was a lot of soul searching, a lot of examining my camp, examining myself, examining my mindset. Yeah, it sucked, but it was a blessing in disguise because I was able to get back to what makes me, me. I was able to get excited again about fighting and enjoying the whole process of everything.”
UFC betting lines have Reyes at even odds to win and that’s worth taking.
Pick: Dominick Reyes Ev
Giga Chikadze vs Cub Swanson
Giga Chikadze Record: 12-2-0
Cub Swanson Record: 27-11-0
It’s hard not to like Cub Swanson as a complete MMA specialist, but he has his work cut out for him against Giga Chikadze.
The Georgian is 12-2 after scoring a round one knockout of Jamey Simmons, who was an easy beat, but it was still an impressive victory.
Chikadze had been winning via decision for most of his fights since signing with the UFC, so it was good to see him finish a fight. He has a huge reach advantage over Cub Swanson, who isn’t getting any younger at 37.
The Californian keeps delivering and his win over Daniel Pineda at UFC 256 should send a warning sign to Chikadze. Swanson is one a two-fight win streak after losing his last four fights prior.
Ruling out Swanson would be a huge mistake, but we’re going with Giga Chikadze. He is the more progressive fighter and his technique could be too much for the opponent.
We don’t expect this fight to go the distance, so instead of taking -160 for Chikadze to win, take the Under 2½ round at +160.
Pick: Giga Chikadze -160 and Under 2½ rounds +160
Ion Cutelaba vs Dustin Jacoby
Ian Cutelaba Record: 15-6-0 1NC
Dustin Jacoby Record: 14-5-0
Evenly matched fighters battle in the light heavyweight division as -135 favorite Ion Cutelaba looks to recover from consecutive losses to Magomed Ankalaev.
“The Hulk” was submitted by Glover Texeira in April 2019 before he knocked out a much easier fighter. That got him a fight with Magomed Ankalaev and it didn’t go well.
Cutelaba was knocked out in just 38 seconds of the first round, but he got a rematch at UFC 254. However, it was the same result; a first round knockout.
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Redemption is on his mind against Dustin Jacoby, who got by the experienced Maxim Grisham at UFC Fight Night in February. The decision win was a solid performance to back up a knockout win over Justin Ledet.
Bookmakers have Cutelaba as favorite and that’s because he has been fighting top-level opponents. Despite not escaping the first round in his last two fights, he should get the job done against Jacoby.
Pick: Ion Cutelaba -135
Sean Strickland vs Krzysztof Jotko
Sean Strickland Record: 22-3-0
Krzysztof Jotko Record: 22-4-0
There has been a stack of money coming for Sean Stickland and it looks well-placed. The middleweight scored an impressive knockout win over Brendan Allan in November, which was only his second fight in over two years.
Strickland is a fighter who doesn’t leave anything in the tank. He goes full steam ahead and bettors love backing those types of fighters.
He pushed Kamaru Usman to a decision in 2017 and he has faced some of the best fighters in the division. Krzysztof Jotko doesn’t have the same trait, but his win over Eryk Anders was a solid outing.
The 31-year-old has been in the fight game for a long time and the decisions haven’t always gone his way, he is a threat to Strickland.
He is getting no respect with bookmakers at +200, and although we respect Jotko as a fighter, Strickland is the man to bet on in what should be a competitive contest.