UFC Predictions: UFC Vegas 25: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka Predictions & Picks

Dominick Reyes (left) faces Jiri Prochazka (right) in this weekend's UFC main event
Dominick Reyes (left) faces Jiri Prochazka (right) in this weekend's UFC main event
Scott Newman

After last night’s blockbuster PPV UFC 261, the UFC returns to its Las Vegas APEX for UFC Vegas 25: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka.

UFC Vegas 25 features some solid-looking fights, but nothing in the way of star power like UFC 261 did. Still, this definitely sounds like a watchable show overall.

Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC Vegas 25: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka.

#1 UFC Light-Heavyweight division: Dominick Reyes vs. Jiri Prochazka

Can Dominick Reyes get back to the form that saw him give Jon Jones a tough challenge?
Can Dominick Reyes get back to the form that saw him give Jon Jones a tough challenge?

It’s always interesting to see how a once-undefeated fighter bounces back from their first loss. And in Dominick Reyes’ case, it wasn’t so good.

‘The Devastator’ lost a razor-close decision to Jon Jones in his first title challenge at UFC 247 last February. Many fans felt he had won the bout, so it was no surprise when the UFC gave him another shot after 'Bones' vacated the light heavyweight belt later in 2020.

But Reyes was then starched by the Polish power of Jan Blachowicz, and is now on a two-fight losing streak. That means that this fight with Jiri Prochazka is pivotal for him.

Win, and Reyes could quickly find himself in title contention again. Lose, and he’ll basically be seen as an afterthought in the division.

The tricky thing is that it’s hard to work out exactly what Prochazka has to offer.

The Czech Republic native looked fantastic in his UFC debut last year, knocking out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir with a devastating striking attack.

He does have plenty of big wins over former UFC stars such as CB Dollaway and Fabio Maldonado prior to entering the promotion, as well as one over current Bellator champ Vadim Nemkov.

At the very top level though, he’s still untested.

The big question here is whether Reyes can get back to the form that allowed him to push Jon Jones so hard last year.

At his best, Reyes is a range fighter who carries power in all of his strikes. He’s comfortable at range and from close quarters, and has looked decent on the ground too.

However, he’s up against a fighter with a 3” reach advantage in Prochazka, and one who seemingly hits remarkably hard, too.

This is a close call due to Prochazka’s inexperience at the UFC level, but you’ve got to question Reyes’ durability after his KO loss to Blachowicz, and Prochazka definitely carries power.

With that in mind, the pick here is Prochazka.

The Pick: Prochazka via second round TKO

#2 UFC Featherweight division: Cub Swanson vs. Giga Chikadze

Can veteran Cub Swanson (left) turn back the challenge of Giga Chikadze (right) this weekend?
Can veteran Cub Swanson (left) turn back the challenge of Giga Chikadze (right) this weekend?

If you go by the previous performances of these two in the UFC, this one promises to be a barnburner.

Everyone knows what to expect from Swanson now. Formerly known for his grappling and wrestling, the veteran is now a combination-based kickboxer.

And while he’s no longer as durable as he was in his prime, his recent wins over Daniel Pineda and Kron Gracie showed he’s still got plenty to offer at this level.

Chikadze, meanwhile, is a prospect looking to break into the upper echelon of the division by taking out the longtime veteran.

The native of Georgia is also a combination-based striker, throwing wild flurries at his opponent with an insane amount of energy.

That style has taken him to a 12-2 record and five straight wins in the UFC, including his first finish – over Jamey Simmons – in his last octagon appearance.

Chikadze’s goal here will undoubtedly be to push the pace of Cub Swanson to the point where the veteran simply can’t keep up.

Swanson’s chin is probably going to be too tricky for the Georgian to crack, particularly given his lack of KO finishes in the UFC previously. And while Chikadze has a solid grappling background, he probably won’t want to scramble with Cub Swanson.

The closest fight to compare this one to is probably Swanson’s 2019 meeting with Shane Burgos. That fight saw the veteran outworked by a hungrier and more aggressive opponent, and while Burgos is much bigger than Chikadze and hits harder, it was his pace that wilted Swanson more than anything.

Overall then, it’ll likely be a close fight – but Chikadze should edge a tight decision.

The Pick: Chikadze via unanimous decision

#3 UFC Vegas 25: The Main Card

Action star Ion Cutelaba features on this weekend's main card
Action star Ion Cutelaba features on this weekend's main card

UFC Vegas 25 has four added fights on the main card.

Ion Cutelaba faces Dustin Jacoby in a light-heavyweight clash. Jacoby is a high-level striker, and he’s won his last two UFC outings impressively. But if Cutelaba fights smart, he should have the grappling to deal with Jacoby, who has been outworked on the mat before.

The danger, though, is if Cutelaba gets too wild on the feet as he did against Magomed Ankalaev, and winds up getting knocked out again.

However, Ankalaev carried more of a takedown threat than Jacoby, and so with that in mind, the pick is Cutelaba via decision.

In a middleweight bout, Sean Strickland takes on Krzysztof Jotko. The last time we saw Strickland, he produced a career-best performance to take out Brendan Allen. ‘Tarzan’ is now on a three-fight win streak, and looks very much like living up to his early promise.

Jotko should test him, but it’s hard to imagine his takedowns and somewhat pedestrian striking game having a lot of success against a fighter on such a run. With that considered, Strickland via TKO is the pick.

Merab Dvalishvili faces Cody Stamann in the bantamweight division. Both of these men are highly tough fighters capable of excellence on their day. The likelihood is that it should come down to which man can take the other down.

Given Dvalishvili is on a five-fight win streak and has largely dominated all of his opponents physically, it’s tricky to see Stamann having success. Dvalishvili, via decision, is the pick.

Finally, a strawweight bout will see Luana Carolina take on Poliana Botelho. Both of these women are evenly matched, and both are coming off losses, meaning their UFC careers could be on the line.

Overall though, Botelho’s striking is probably the most dangerous aspect in this fight, and so the pick is Botelho via TKO.

#4 UFC Vegas 25: The Preliminary Card

Picks in bold

UFC Strawweight division: Randa Markos vs. Luana Pinheiro

UFC Featherweight division: Gabriel Benitez vs. Jonathan Pearce

UFC Featherweight division: Kai Kamaka III vs. TJ Brown

UFC Strawweight division: Loma Lookboonmee vs. Sam Hughes

UFC Middleweight division: Andreas Michailidis vs. KB Bhullar

UFC Featherweight division: Felipe Colares vs. Luke Sanders

Edited by Avinash Tewari
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