Jiri Prochazka made his case for a light heavyweight title shot with a stunning knockout of Dominick Reyes in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN card.
Prochazka scored just the third spinning back elbow knockout in UFC history, finishing Reyes in the second round of their fight.
Prochazka closing in on title shot
Over two rounds, Prochazka (28-3-1) battered Reyes with his unpredictable, unorthodox style. The former Rizin champion relentlessly stalked Reyes through both rounds before ending the fight with the spinning elbow against the cage.
“I just flow,” Prochazka said afterward. “After some counterpunches from Dominick, I can have no chance to think for some plans. I was just in the flow. [I thought], ‘After that, maybe spinning elbow.’”
Reyes (12-3) lost his third straight fight, though the previous two losses came to former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and current champ Jan Blachowicz.
The 28-year-old Prochazka could be in line for a title challenge, but he’ll have to wait for a fight between Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira this September at UFC 266.
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Prochazka has now won 12 straight fights and has scored knockouts or TKOs against each of his last 10 opponents, including in both of his UFC bouts. He collected two $50,000 bonuses for his win over Reyes, earning both Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night honors.
UFC parent company lands on New York Stock Exchange
Endeavor Group Holdings, the media company that owns the majority share of the UFC, launched its initial public offering on Thursday. The stock opened at $24 per share and was trading at $29.34 on Monday morning.
Endeavor is in the process of acquiring full ownership of the UFC. It purchased 50.1% of the promotion from the Fertitta brothers for $4 billion in 2016. The company also owns Miss Universe and Professional Bull Riders.
McGregor makes $500K donation
Conor McGregor finally made good on his $500,000 donation to charity, but the money didn’t go to Dustin Poirier’s foundation.
McGregor pledged $500,000 to Poirier’s The Good Fight Foundation before the two fought at UFC 257 in January. The two men got into a Twitter war of words after McGregor refused to make the donation following his loss. McGregor said his team never received details on how the money would be used, and Poirier later apologized for making the disagreement public.
Last Monday, McGregor donated the money to the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana in Louisiana, near where Poirier is from. The Good Fight Foundation made a $107,000 donation to the same organization prior to the UFC 257 fight, ESPN reported.
Poirier says he’s happy with how the situation resolved.
“Helping people in need was the mission and goal from the jump,” Poirier told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “It wasn’t a slap in the face. It was a high five because the people in the community are going to win.”