Oezdemir, a one-time light heavyweight title challenger who is coming off of back-to-back losses, faces Reyes, an unbeaten fighter who has finished three of his four UFC opponents in the first round, on the main card.
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Round 1: Leon Roberts on hand to oversee this fight. Reyes using his long jab and front kicks to keep Oezdemir back. A right hand over the top by Oezdemir connects as he steps in. Accidental low blow kick from Reyes and there’s a brief stoppage. Outside leg kick by Reyes as the action resumes. Oezdemir closing the distance with hooks. A well-timed low kick trips Reyes onto his back as he tries a high kick of his own. Oezdemir jumps into his guard, but Reyes is back up quick and he breaks a clinch and returns to the center of the Octagon. Inside leg kick scores for Reyes. Oezdemir slips a punch and grabs Reyes for a takedown. Reyes looking to power back up and he does so again, landing an elbow as they separate. Good counter left hook by Reyes. Oezdemir catches a front kick and flurries with punches, backing Reyes up against the cage. Body kick by Oezdemir. Reyes backs Oezdemir up with a jab.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Oezdemir.
Round 2: Heading into round two, it looks like Reyes’s nose may be injured. Reyes throws a right hand as Oezdemir kicks high, tripping Oezdmir to the mat, and then Reyes lands a right cross as Oezdemir gets up. Oezdemir pressing forward, Reyes throwing a straight left to counter. Shot by Reyes is defended. Oezdemir goes for one of his own but is also blocked. Reyes gets around the defenses with a right hook. He’s starting to find a home for his right hand. Oezdemir countering with his own right hands, then a knee up the middle. Oezdemir blocks a trip attempt. He’s probing with his left hand. They’re exchanging low kicks. Oezdemir tries to end the round with a takedown attempt, but Reyes defends and they strike each other in the clinch as the buzzer sounds. Close round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Reyes. Overall, 19-19.
Round 3: Oezdemir shoots in off of a Reyes’s leg kick and briefly wrestles him down. It doesn’t go anywhere and they’re back on the feet. Oezdemir scoring with inside leg kicks. Left hand by Oezdemir and Reyes whiffs on an uppercut. Oezdemir slipping punches and keeping Reyes on the back foot with 1-2 combinations. Oezdemir with the body lock against the fence. There’s a stalemate and Oezdemir backs off. Takedown by Oezdemir is blocked and Reyes tags him with a glancing left. Now it’s Reyes moving forward with 90 seconds to go. Body punch down the middle lands for Reyes. Good exchange on the feet between the two, Oezdemir landing a right hook. 1-2 by Oezdemir connects. He’s landing a little more consistently in the closing moments of the fight.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Oezdemir. Overall, Oezdemir 29-28.
Official result: Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)