Dominick Reyes sang on his way to the ring on Friday night in Boston and danced to get out of it. In the middle, he won the biggest victory of his career: a knockout in the first round over former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
The final reached only 1:43 of the first period after Reyes connected with a direct counterattack to Weidman’s jaw and then continued with hammer blows to the head on the ground.
“I was there having fun, feeling loose. He went in and put it on the ground, ”Reyes said later.
“It was everything I ever imagined it was. I am very honored to fight Chris, he is a fantastic competitor. ”
Weidman changed the level and closed the distance between him and the biggest and longest Kings at the beginning of the fight after “The Devastator” failed with a long blow. From there, Weidman pressed Reyes against the cage wall and scored a takedown.
Reyes remained calm and deftly returned to his feet while Weidman clung to him, working for more demolitions. Reyes finally broke free from the reach of the All-American freestyle college fighter and got the fight where he wanted it to be fought.
Weidman looked confidently to return a short distance, but after failing with a right blow aimed at a retiring King, the former middleweight king dropped his right arm when he returned to his body and the undefeated contender stopped at a penny and hit the gap with his left fist. Weidman dropped onto the mat immediately, but initially regained consciousness.
Reyes faced the downed legend, pushed Weidman’s feet off his own hips and fired punches that hit the Long Islander, cold. “At the beginning of the fight I saw it, I saw the opening,” Reyes said later.
“I knew I was going to ram, and I hit him in the jaw.”
Weidman himself was undefeated for years until he lost the 185-pound championship against Luke Rockhold in December 2015. Since then, he has lost five of his last six fights, all by knockout or technical knockout.
Weidman’s record is now 14-5. Reyes arrived at the main event on Friday after winning his first five fights at the UFC and improved his overall professional record to 12-0 with the victory for the strike.
After beating former title challengers, top contenders and now a former world champion, Reyes clearly believes he has earned his own chance to win gold. Before leaving the cage in the Boston Garden, the 29-year-old called light heavyweight head Jon Jones (25-1-1), who won his last three straight games and who just left his last criminal conviction after allegedly assaulting a waitress at the strip club.