This is one of those terrific fights that you didn’t know you really wanted to see until it was announced and then you’re like, “Oh man, what a fight!”
Reyes burst onto the scene in the summer of ’17, following up a viral knockout on the regional circuit with a 29-second stoppage win in his promotional debut. In all, he went 3-0 in his rookie year, never seeing the second round. He’s posted two more wins since then, vanquishing veteran gatekeeper Ovince Saint Preux before edging out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir by split decision earlier this year to establish himself as one of the top contenders in the 205-pound weight class.
While Reyes is looking to prove he’s championship ready, Weidman is aiming to start a new chapter in his career. Six years removed from defeating Anderson Silva and nearly four years after losing the middleweight title to Luke Rockhold, the 35-year-old former champion is hoping a shift to the light heavyweight ranks can help him snap out of a 1-4 slump and spark a return to elite form.
A move like this always seemed like a possibility for Weidman, just as it did for his nemesis, Rockhold, but now the question is whether or not the Long Island native can avoid the same fate that befell his West Coast counterpart when he changed divisions. As for Reyes, squeaking past Oezdemir with a debated decision slowed his momentum, but with Jon Jones searching for challengers, a return to the electric form of his rookie campaign could position him for a title shot in 2020.