After a UFC Fight Night card that saw only one finish before the light heavyweight main event, Jiri Prochazka left a lasting impression with his knockout of two-time world title challenger Dominick Reyes. The wild back-and-forth battle came to a stunning end when Prochazka connected with a spinning back elbow that knocked Reyes out cold for the second round finish.
Prochazka repeatedly stunned Reyes through the first round, landing punches from odd angles to send Reyes stumbling. Every Prochazka's attempt to follow up for the finish in the opening frame was cut off by wild counterstrikes from Reyes, leading to extended firefights that left Reyes badly bloodied after five minutes.
Reyes would have a big moment in the second round, landing a heavy left hand that finally hurt Prochazka. In an attempt to survive the moment, Prochazka shot for a takedown, only to find himself caught in a guillotine choke. Once he escaped from the choke, the end was only moments away.
"I just want to show the beauty of the art, but sometimes I go very quickly for the win and by that I catch some punches and that's a mistake," Prochazka said after the fight. "But I'm learning fight by fight."
Prochazka poured on heavy ground and pound from top position, sending Reyes scrambling back to his feet. Prochazka's pressure did not stop, however, and with Reyes' back pinned to the cage, Prochazka threw an elbow that missed before uncorking the spinning back elbow that dropped Reyes to the canvas.
"I just flow," Prochazka said of the finish. "After some counterpunches from Dominick, I could have no chance to think through some plans. I just was in the flow. After that, maybe a spinning elbow? Yeah, that."
UFC president Dana White said before the fight that the winner of the fight would be set up as the challenger for the winner of the upcoming fight between division champion Jan Blachowicz and top contender Glover Teixeira. That would have been Reyes' third title shot in four fights, having lost to former champion Jon Jones and then Blachowicz in a fight for the title after it was vacated by Jones in anticipation of his move to heavyweight. Instead, the honor goes to Prochazka, earning the shot in just his second fight in the UFC.
"Yeah. I'm ready. Let's do that. Let's do that, yeah. Let's do that. I like my neighbor Blachowicz, but OK. There's a fight with Glover next. [Fighting the winner] is an honor for me."
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Elsewhere on the card, Giga Chikadze made an emphatic statement with a first-round TKO of Cub Swanson in the co-main event. Chikadze landed a clean kick to the liver that sent Swanson crippling to the canvas in pain. Chikadze added a few followup punches before the referee stepped in to call it off. Chikadze is now 6-0 in UFC with two straight stoppage victories. The loss ended a two-fight win streak for Swanson.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC Fight Night card.
UFC Fight Night card and results
- Jiri Prochazka def. Dominick Reyes via second-round knockout (spinning elbow)
- Giga Chikadze def. Cub Swanson via first-round TKO (body kick)
- Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby ruled a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
- Sean Strickland def. Krzysztof Jotko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Cody Stamann via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)