How do you rate Rakic, Reyes and Walker + who'd you give the best chance to beat Jones? (and why?)

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Ironnik94, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Ironnik94

    Ironnik94 Blue Belt

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    All three fighters - while only having a combined 12 fights in the UFC - are still undefeated (albeit Dominick Reyes losing against Oezdemir in the eyes of many) and looked really promising for the majority of their fights, having finished at least 50% of their wins (Rakic 2/4, Reyes 3/5, Walker 3/3).
    They're all either 27 or 29 years old and are primarily strikers, yet they are quite different in their approach.

    Dominick Reyes (11-0 pro-MMA, 5-0 in the UFC)
    The oldest (29 years) and shortest (193cm/6'4") of all three, Dominick Reyes fights out of a southpaw-stance and has a great kicking game, he primarily goes for the legs, but regularly finds success going to the head and body as well, especially when he's fighting opponents with an orthodox stance, where his opponents right side is open for kicks with his rear-leg.
    He's not just a good kicker though, his hands are actually very good as well, being both accurate and fast and despite not having typical one-punch-KO-power, he's got solid power behind his punches.
    Overall, his striking is not Barboza-flashy, but rather really fundamental, fluent and technically very sound.
    Another strength of Reyes is his movement - be it head-movement or footwork; he's agile and great at evading strikes; he often slips from the centre-line to the side under punches from incoming opponents and immediately punishes them from a sidewards-angle.
    His fighting-style is best described as calm and measured, he doesn't expose himself defensively and doesn't rush forward often, but rather waits for his opportunity and picks his shots.
    Being a great striker, it should be noted that Dominick Reyes does well at the other parts of MMA also, inside the UFC he has a submission-win over Jeremy Kimball, but what's way more impressive is his takedown-defense of 85.7% - the third-highest at light heavyweight inside the UFC.

    Aleksandar Rakic (12-1 pro-MMA, 4-0 in the UFC)
    Being the youngest (27 years) out of the three, Aleksandar Rakic is a tall light heavyweight, who stands at 196cm/6'5". Like all three fighters, Rakic is primarily a striker (having started kickboxing at the age of 11) and he's mainly fighting from an orthodox stance, but depending on the situation of the fight, he likes to switch stances up, especially with the intention of landing low kicks.
    Having good, powerful hands, his best weapon are his vicious kicks that are both fast and astonishingly powerful. Having already mentioned his height, it should be noted that Rakic is a pretty big light heavyweight in terms of size in general; he's muscular with a low body fat-percentage and very strong.
    On the ground he's done very well so far; he was able to withstand Devin Clarks attempts to hold him down after being knocked down in the first seconds of their fight and he used good wrestling/positional control to defend submission-attempts from Justin Ledet while stopping him from getting up and landing huge amounts of strikes, ground-n-pounding the latter. Rakic likes to keep his lead-hand somewhat outstretched and does feint a lot, often using these feints to set up his devastating kicks and/or to explode forward, throwing punches.
    Another quality of Aleksandar Rakic is his chin and recovery. He's been hit with some strikes landing flush, got repeatedly kneed in the face by Devin Clark (illegal knees, btw.) and yet didn't really seem to be phased by it at all. For the most time, albeit putting in my opinion a bit more pressure on then Reyes, Rakic is a rather measured fighter as well, but if he sees an opportunity he explodes and does a great job at landing powerful strikes out of these bursts then.

    Johnny Walker (17-3 pro-MMA, 3-0 in the UFC)
    Being about two months older then Aleksandar Rakic, 27-year old Johnny Walker already put himself on the map in the UFC, winning all three bouts by either KO or TKO, with his latest finish coming against Misha Cirkunov by a spectacular flying knee.
    With a height of 198cm/6'6" Johnny Walker towers over almost every opponent he faces and with a reach of 208cm/82" of reach, he's among the rangiest fighters of the UFC.
    Using a variety of attacks, Johnny Walker likes to use high-kicks from range and follow-up with other strikes. Johnny Walker is extremely diverse in his striking, this can't be emphasized enough; he pretty much uses every kind of strike on a regular basis, be it an axe-kick, a spinning-backfist, an elbow from the clinch, a flying knee or a basic jab-cross and he does that fluently, accurate and with great effect so far, especially since he's so good at creatively mixing up all those different kinds of strikes.
    His takedown-defense has not been proven in the UFC yet, but it looked decent against Henrique Da Silva in their fight on DWCS, despite being taken down one time. Walker uses his grappling mostly to defend himself, he'll however go for a submission if the opportunity is there.
    Other than that, Walker likes to clinch with his opponents and throws sharp elbows from there (for example to finish Khalil Rountree Jr.) and/or mixes knees in from there as well.
    Having talked mostly about the technical abilities of Johnny Walker (aside from reach and height), he is a very big and athletic fighter who's very strong physically, but perhaps his most outstanding athletic trait is his explosiveness; flying knees, fast and hard punches and crushing kicks are something to expect when facing or watching him compete in the Octagon.


    How do you rate each of those fighters and who would you give the best chance to beat Jon Jones and why?
     
  2. dissectingaorticaneurysm

    dissectingaorticaneurysm Night King Top Team

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    tfw 6'4 is the manlet of the group...
     
  3. Herwald

    Herwald Green Belt

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    Walker. Cause he's got that Tony Ferg unpredictability going for him. And he's still a wild man despite already having a loss on record, so a wild man at heart.

    The other two are good fighters, but they're by the book. Jones has seen it all.
     
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  4. Gambit MMA

    Gambit MMA Silver Belt

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    walkers size and crazy style makes him the most intriguing matchup. he has the best shot

    reyes and rakic are too textbook as the guy above me said. jones has fought the whos who, whether its a muay thai striker, wrestler, rangy boxer etc.

    ill watch him fight any of the 3 because they will be solid fights, but i dont expect as much from rakic or reyes as i am expecting from walker. im expecting walker to throw some crazy shit and make it fun
     
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  5. lyndon955

    lyndon955 Purple Belt

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    I thought Reyes was the man to perhaps beat Jones but his fight against Volkan made me wonder a lot

    Walker I'd like to see fight Jones most of all, in his next fight if he beats Corey

    Rakic I don't know much about, I've only seen him fight Manuwa and although he pasted him, Manuwa was old and on a losing streak
     
  6. ferrisjso

    ferrisjso Goat Lawyer

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    Krylov should be on the list. And I have it Rakic, Krylov, Reyes and I don't think we have enough info on Walker to know for sure, could be anywhere from first to last in that group. His fights just tend to be super short and against low ranked competition and there's nothing tangible to validate that hype yet. It's crazy this could be the top 4(outside of the GOAT of course) for years.

    Volkan beating Latifi made Reyes look much better by extension. It's why Reyes went from nowhere near a title shot to next in line. I'd even say he's better than Volkan and he won the fight. But I find Rakic and Krylov to be more promising.
     
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  7. TouchButtDork

    TouchButtDork TouchButt World Champion

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    Everyone is going to say Walker and then hes gonna get exposed and wrestlefucked by Corey 26-9
     
  8. dissectingaorticaneurysm

    dissectingaorticaneurysm Night King Top Team

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    Reyes has good fundamentals but nothing he's shown so far convinces me he can hang with Jones. Rakic shows promise but is untested. Walker is OBLITERATING FACES within seconds of the bell. He's The One. Our last and greatest hope to dethrone Jones.
     
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  9. Beans & Cornbread

    Beans & Cornbread Purple Belt

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    Walker KOs him
    Reyes beats him by decision, but robbed by the judges
    no idea about Rakic
     
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  10. Gregoire1

    Gregoire1 дезоксерибонулеиновая кислота

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    Reyes
    Walker
    Rakic
     
  11. scytheavatar

    scytheavatar Blue Belt

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    Reyes is less athletic than Volkan........ it is not clear to me his path to beating Jones. Without KO power he'll probably need to outpoint Jones and that is a tall order for anyone, but especially for Reyes since he's almost guaranteed to gas out and lose the last 2 rounds to Jones.
     
  12. GSPrush1

    GSPrush1 Purple Belt

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    I think Walker has the best chance and will beat Jones because of his size. Walkers 82” reach 6’6” frame will be to much for Jones. Jones has always had a huge reach advantage over his opponents usually at least 6”-7” and 13” against Cormier! with Walkers size and ability to close the range I believe this will spell trouble for Jon Jones. Jones can barely even handle middleweights these days.
     
  13. GSPrush1

    GSPrush1 Purple Belt

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    Interesting you mention Krylov, I’ve always liked him. Never thought about him and Jones fighting though. What makes you think Krylov could beat Jones?
     
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  14. werepig

    werepig Yellow Belt

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    walker only bc there's not enough tape on him
     
  15. Jojomojo

    Jojomojo Yellow Belt

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    Yeah the Krylov mention doesnt really make sense for me. He lost to Misha and Jan by sub and that pretty much shows you his limits. He can definetly overcome those fighters if he keeps improving, but even than the gap to Bones would just be to big imo. Hes really more like a solid top 10 guy in an improved LH division than an excititng title challenger.
     
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  16. Ironnik94

    Ironnik94 Blue Belt

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    Yea, this seems to be the general consensus, i do agree about Walker and you've got a good point with Walker being "wild at heart" as you call it.
    A thing that stuck with me regarding Walker is the following (time-stamped):

    After Walker does the hook kick, he pulls Ledet's guard down and immediately turns and lands a spinning back fist. (Didn't notice it at first, but someone in a comment under the video pointed that out)
    If it was meant that way it'd be really insane.
    Regarding the other fighters being by the book i think that it's true to a point, but looking at Jones' resume i don't think he's really faced an elite-striker his size except for Gus, but Gus afaik isn't exactly known for being a good kicker and as we've seen in the Jones - Santos fight, low kicks can really hurt Jones bad. That's why i think that all three are at least tough matchups for him, especially Walker and Rakic, since they're big, athletic and posses tons of power. Watching Rakic's fight against Ledet i was astonished at Rakic's low-kicks, they've got crazy amounts of force behind them and he's really good at landing them.
    I feel Reyes weakness against Jones (compared to Rakic and Walker) could be his size, as he's the smallest of the three fighters mentioned and he's also not much of a pressure fighter and i think it's really important to not let Jones' dictate the pace of the fight. To Reyes defense though: his takedown-defense is apparently really great so Jones might have to keep the fight standing and has to beat Reyes at his own game.

    Just like in the case of Herwald, i see where you're coming from and agree about Walker probably having a really good chance, for the reasons mentioned. For the other fighters check my answer above^

    Same here with Reyes performance against Volkan. He looked great in his other fights though!
    Walker is a favourite of a lot of people, isn't he? haha.
    Didn't know too much about Rakic either for most of the time, but i checked most of his fights inside the UFC out yesterday, and i've gotta say that he really seems capable of posing a lot of Danger to Jones. Similar to Walker, he's very athletic and explosive, he's however not as wild, but definitely seems like a well rounded striker so far. His kicking game is really good and as i've already mentioned, his kicks are thunderous - just as you'd expect from somebody with his legs.

    One could definitely add Krylov to the list, but Rakic, Reyes and Walker just were the ones on top of my mind and i haven't seen anything of Krylov so far (literally speaking) but looking at his record, it makes me skeptical that he's been submitted 5 times already. To be fair though, he's had 31 pro fights at 27 years of age, so there's still a lot of room for improvement!
    With Walker it really is kinda difficult to evaluate him as of now, since - like you've said - we've only seen him for an extremely short period of time in the UFC, but i think it's really not far fetched to acknowledge that he's got serious talent and the physical tools to be a force to be reckoned with at LHW.
    Regarding Volkan - Latifi + Volkan - Reyes i agree; i also think that Volkan - Reyes was closer than people give Reyes credit for and it should also be noted, that Volkan is still only 29 years old as well and a difficult matchup for anybody who's not that good of an offensive wrestler.
    ..and yeah, Rakic definitely looks very promising imo.

    Well, it's true that we've never seen anybody testing Walkers wrestling/takedown-defense in the UFC so i think he's definitely in for a good test against Anderson. But even if Corey Anderson beats him with his wrestling, i don't think that Johnny Walker would be much less of a prospect then. I mean: it's better to be dominated by a wrestler, than it is to get lit up by a striker on the feet (most of the times) and with his young age, Walker still as a lot of time to improve.

    Reyes really is the least spectacular of the three, but having said that, his rather conventional approach to striking shouldn't fool people into thinking that he's an average striker; i think technically he might be one of the best if not the best in the division - that is not to accuse you of underestimating Reyes though, just stating my opinion towards him, as i've already said, the things that make me skeptic about Reyes is the fact that he's not putting a lot of pressure on and is the smallest one out of the three (being 193cm/6'4" tall, he's not generally small by any means though for a LHW).
    Agreed about Walker looking insanely good so far, but we'll have to wait how he fares against better opponents. I'm pretty optimistic though and i also think that he might have a really good chance of dethronign Jones in the rather near future.

    Hm.. Reyes is not a power puncher by any means and it'd surely help against Jones having dynamite in his limbs, but why do you think he'd gas out against Jones? I think his cardio has looked pretty solid so far, except against Volkan maybe, but he took some damage in that fight, so it's undertsandable i think.

    This. Walker is a giant for a light heavyweight and is a tall and really rangy guy as well. The reasons you've mentioned are some of the main reasons why i also think he's able to pose tons of danger to Jon. Jon really relies on his reach, but with his reach advantage being diminished to such a little number, it won't be too much of an advantage, especially against someone who's that explosive and as you've said good in closing the distance fast.

    The inability to tell a lot about Walker because of his little fight time in the UFC really is an advantage for Walker, but i still think that albeit Jones is good at exposing his opponents flaws, the main reason for Jon's dominance is the fact that with his reach, great linear striking from distance and dominant clinch-game from close ranges he's a bad matchup for almost everyone in terms of striking and with his great wrestling he's been able to hang with elite-wrestlers as well so far. I think that proficient strikers his size who're both good at kicking and boxing, ideally have knockout-power and the ability to not get taken down at will from him, have the best chances of beating him, hence i've been talking about Reyes, Rakic and Walker.
     
  17. Only Here for Attachments

    Only Here for Attachments Stipe Justice Warrior

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    Walker and Rakic aren't even in the top-10 yet so they aren't ready, and Reyes looked like hot garbage against Oezdemir but if he whoops Wediman perhaps the shot will be his.

    At least people can't scream "FAILED MIDDLEWEIGHTS" if any of these guys get the shot.
     
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  18. GordonMMARamsey

    GordonMMARamsey Black Belt

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    I thought Rakic was in jail for murder? It Jimi wake up?
     
  19. Wise1

    Wise1 Black Belt

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    Not a believer in Walker at all and Reyes lost that fight to Volkan.

    Rakic has got my vote.
     
  20. Ironnik94

    Ironnik94 Blue Belt

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    Well, Rakic and Walker haven't faced top-competition yet, that's true, but that doesn't equate to them not being ready, only to not certainly knowing yet if they can hang with the top guys. Walker and Rakic, who're ranked #11 and #10 have however looked great so far, so i think it's only normal to debate about their chances, especially since they seem to be tough-matchups for Jon Jones at this point.
    Regarding Reyes' fight with Volkan he certainly hasn't looked as good as in his other fights, but i wouldn't go as far as saying he looked like "hot garbage" either.
    I'd also like to add that Reyes struggling with Volkan doesn't necessarily translate to Reyes' not being good enough for Jones, because while Jones is of course the way better fighter than Volkan, he's completely different as a fighter.
    All this being said, i do agree though, that it'd be too soon to give anyone but Reyes (if he's like you're saying winning against Weidman) a shot at the title yet.
    I think if Walker convincingly beats Corey Anderson he might get the next shot at Jones, if he doesn't despite winning against C. Anderson, then he'll almost certainly get it with another win though. Similar with Rakic; i think if he beats his next two opponents convincingly he can get a shot at Jones.
    Oh, and you're right, it wouldn't make sense to describe anyone out of this three as a failed middleweight in a possible loss against Jones, it's true though that a lot of Jones opposition inside the octagon has been undersized compared to him (not blaming Jones for that, just stating it.)
     

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