Dominick Reyes is still undefeated after a razor-close win over Volkan Oezdemir in his latest performance at UFC Fight Night in London.
It was a back and forth affair over all three rounds that could have easily gone either way but ultimately it was the prospect from the United States who got the job done as he continues his climb up the UFC rankings at 205 pounds.
Coming off back-to-back losses, there was nothing conservative about Oezdemir’s approach heading into Saturday’s fight in London. He immediately established his position in the center of the cage and stayed in constant pursuit of Reyes throughout the opening round.
In return, Reyes was very quick on his feet while showing excellent defense with good head movement to avoid most of Oezdemir’s power shots. Oezdemir did manage to surge ahead for a takedown midway through the round but he was unable to keep Reyes on the mat for more than a few seconds.
Before time ran out, Reyes was starting to land with more of his counter shots while Oezdemir was still looking for a barrage of power punches while trying to close the distance on the taller fighter.
The fight continued as a war of position with Oezdemir always looking to be the aggressor and Reyes trying to counter him on the feet.
Oezdemir was landing with the better power shots, which seemed to keep Reyes from really establishing his striking as he was constantly playing defense.
Reyes also appeared to be dealing with a damaged nose, which may have affected his breathing as he spent the majority of the fight with his mouth gaped open looking for oxygen.
With time ticking away in the final round, Reyes started upping his output perhaps in a move to sway the judges in his favor while Oezdemir began slowing down with each passing minute.
When the horn sounded, it was anybody’s guess who won the fight with Oezdemir constantly hunting for a knockout while Reyes used a tactical game plan with plenty of volume and counter strikes to set himself up for success.
The judges had just as much difficulty deciding the winner with a split decision coming back with two 29-28 cards in favor of Reyes, who gets the job done while remaining undefeated in his career.
It definitely wasn’t his best night at the office but Reyes still gets the victory to move to 11-0 in his career with a perfect 5-0 mark in the UFC.
Reyes is definitely a fighter to watch in 2019 as he continues his climb up the light heavyweight rankings with champion Jon Jones desperately in need of new competition. As for Oezdemir, he has now dropped three straight fights after storming into the UFC with a trio of wins that earned him a title shot last year.