Dominick Reyes could be in line for a light heavyweight title shot after beating former middleweight champion Chris Weidman in less than two minutes at UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston on Friday night.
Reyes (12-0) took just one minute, 43 seconds to score a knockout victory over Weidman and establish himself as a likely candidate to challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship.
Reyes Wants a Shot at Jones
Reyes was already considered one of the most promising prospects in the UFC, but had yet to beat a big-name opponent. That’s no longer the case, leaving little for him to do before he challenges for a title.
“I was out here having fun,” Reyes said after the fight. “He came in and I put him down. It was everything I imagined it would be. I’m so honored to fight Chris. He’s a fantastic competitor. I want to thank him and his family. His loss is my gain, that’s how this business is, but it’s all love baby.”
Weidman (14-5) has now lost five of his last six fights, with all five of those losses coming by knockout.
Rodriguez, Stephens Settle Feud
In the co-main event, Yair Rodriguez (12-2) won a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens (28-17), in a rematch of their September fight, which was called off after just 15 seconds due to an accidental eye poke by Rodriguez.
Rodriguez looked like he might finish the fight in the second round, but Stephens survived, and was able to take control of the final round against a fading Rodriguez. In the end, all three judges gave Rodriguez the 29-28 decision, putting an end to a contentious feud that flared up after the unsatisfying result of their first meeting.
Afterwards, Rodriguez took to Instagram to celebrate his victory and say that he had no ill will towards Stephens.
“My respects for this warrior who, despite all that happened before this fight at the end, showed respect and that this is only part of the ‘business,’” Rodriguez wrote. “I only seek to face the best of the best in the division and I hope that the UFC after nine fights for them, within which eight are victories, seven bonuses for fights and performances of the night, give me the opportunity to fight soon for a world title.”
Hardy Loses Win Due to Inhaler Gaffe
Meanwhile, Greg Hardy’s tumultuous UFC run once again sparked controversy on Friday, as what had been a unanimous decision for the former NFL player over Ben Sosoli (7-2) was changed to a no contest after the bout due to Hardy’s unapproved use of an inhaler between the second and third rounds.
The Massachusetts State Athletic Commission (MSAC) ruled that Hardy (5-1) was not approved to use the inhaler, as it has not been pre-approved by the commission.
There was apparently confusion, as Hardy asked an MSAC inspector between rounds if he could use the inhaler. The inspector asked “Is it medically approved?”, which Hardy’s corner may have taken as permission to use the device.
“I’m really just worried about what my boss thinks,” Hardy said when asked if he would try to get the result overturned. “The worst part for me is here I am letting people down again.”
Hardy previously suffered a loss due to another unforced mistake in January, when he used an illegal knee to knock out Allen Crowder.