UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Weidman preview and pick

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October 17th, 2019

The rising Dominick Reyes will face determined veteran and ex-middleweight champion Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC on ESPN on Friday, October 18. In the co-feature, Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens will look to settle the score, and Greg Hardy rounds out a big night of action.

Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman

Dominick Reyes
Chris Weidman
Chris Weidman seems awfully dismissive of Dominic Reyes ahead of what is definitely a crossroads bout. Weidman is moving up in weight against an opponent that is primed and ready for a shot at Jon Jones, but Weidman is having none of it and believes he is on a mission from God to get slumped by Jones some time next year.

While Weidman’s experience is unparalleled, he is 1-4 in his last five fights and is moving to light heavyweight because he cannot make the middleweight limit following back-to-back neck surgeries. With all that mileage and clearly in sharp decline, Weidman cannot come in at anything less than 100%.
Reyes is holding all the cards. He’s stronger, younger and the naturally bigger fighter, which he will make very clear Friday. He will do his part to bully Weidman around the ring and test his resolve. His amateur background in wrestling and college football means he knows how to use his size. Weidman’s only clear shot of winning, the ground game, is another strength of Reyes'.

Weidman should be able to give Reyes some pause and stuff his offense early on, but the veteran is going to need to take Reyes down eventually and put on a perfect defensive effort.

Reyes will give Weidman respect early, but after taking a few of his shots and stuffing his initial takedown attempts, there will be little stopping Reyes from bulldozing the aging Weidman. The size difference is undeniable, and for Weidman, this fight is coming too late in his career for him to have a shot.

While Weidman has visions of a Jones mega fight, he’s predicting the future for Reyes, who will drop him on the way to a lopsided stoppage win.

Pick: Reyes -165

Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens

Rodriguez and Stephens will meet again, after an eye poke to Stephens led to a no-contest September 21, but Rodriguez still has the edge. As long as he stays composed and doesn’t get caught early, Rodriguez will outwork Stephens and win a decision.

Pick: Rodriguez -110

Greg Hardy vs. Ben Sosoli

Troubled ex-Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy and Ben Sosoli, who will make his UFC debut, are not going to do anything but try and punch each other’s lights out, in what should be the fight of the night. Hardy’s conditioning and agility will get him out of danger and in position to put Sosoli down in a war.

Pick: Hardy -305

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