If Reyes was supposed to be the light heavyweight division’s uncrowned champion, that was news to Blachowicz.
With Jon Jones having vacated the 205-pound belt in anticipation of an expected move to heavyweight, Reyes and Blachowicz were booked to fight for the title at UFC 253. Reyes lost a close decision to Jones the previous February and his strong performance made him the favorite heading into his second title opportunity.
Blachowicz, as he has done many times in his UFC career, played the spoiler, cleanly out-striking Reyes before putting him away with punches in the second round. Often overlooked, Blachowicz won his fourth straight fight and eighth in his past nine to add his name to the UFC’s history books.
Next for Blachowicz, he finds himself in a superfight with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 in Las Vegas. The two headline the March 6 pay-per-view card, with Blachowicz’s light heavyweight title on the line.