Its possible that Reyes is just special...no?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by PalmStrike, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. PalmStrike Brown Belt

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    He seems to have it all and his fight IQ will improve with more battles.

    I think he can rule for a while after Jon.
     
  2. Rockapotomuss Woke Based Poster

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    Gassing out and coasting through the championship rounds. Real special.
     
  3. chinarice Steel Belt

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    I don't see him as all that special like ATG-level great. I thought Jones was a far more special LHW during his rise.

    I think Jones just isn't as good as he was before.

    I do think Reyes is extremely good though.
     
  4. Haj01 Silver Belt

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    EZ Reyes
     
  5. Mammothman Silver Belt

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    I put him in the same boat as prime Garbrandt and Weidman, if does his things correctly he can win the belt and have a couple of nice defenses
     
  6. nostradumbass Steel Belt

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    You mean like retarded?
     
  7. Gamer007 Brown Belt

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    No, he's a very solid fighter but nothing too special.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he loses his next fight or the one after tbh. Alot of big punchers at LHW and although Reyes has shown solid TDD, he hasn't show anything else to make me think he has any sort of plan B if he gets rocked or is getting outstruck by the Rakic, Santos, Smith, etc.

    He seems to have a good attitude though, and definitely knows how to follow a gameplan.
     
  8. ConorFacts Banned Banned

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    Lomachenko is special

    Reyes is not
     
  9. Ares Black Asteroid Belt

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    Reyes is definitely special
     
  10. Towerworld Brown Belt

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    That was his first fight ever at 5 rounds and he was fighting the UFC GOAT not to mention he fought well in the fourth landing some good strikes. How can the guy who arguably beat the GOAT not be special??
     
  11. Madmick Zugzwang Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I think so, and I was mindblown. Flabbergasted. I thought he was one of the weakest challengers forwarded during Bone's reign despite his unblemished record. I didn't think he would survive two rounds against Jones, and Jones isn't particularly deadly as a finisher, especially in the early rounds. All his KOs/TKOs seem to be by attrition.

    Boy was I wrong. Hats off to Reyes.
     
  12. TeenageMutantLesnarTurtle Brown Belt

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    I dont think hes anything exceptional tbh. I think hes just a bad stylistic match up for a Jones who is probably on the downslide now.
     
  13. DarkneT Khamzat sucks Platinum Member

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    He looked lost against Volkan

    genuinely shook
     
  14. Ironnik94 Perdition Belt

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    I think he is. At least, he has shown enough so far for everyone to assume that is the case.
    He has great striking, but to be more specific:
    Very good timing and accuracy with his punches, especially on the backfoot,
    Good shot selection,
    Great kicks, no matter if to the leg, body or head,
    Good power and handspeed - no Rumble Johnson, but definitely a powerful puncher
    Great footwork; understands how to take angles, cover distance and take advantage of opponents who got themselves out of position really well.
    His grappling seems to be good enough to not hang with the best guys in his division;
    He's comfortable at the ground, but more importantly does very well at defending takedowns, which was really apparent in his performance against Jon Jones.
    In terms of physicality, he's no freak, but he's a really fast and agile guy, especially for someone his size, his cardio is not exactly his best asset, but it's enough to sustain a high output in striking for 3-4 rounds and - if he paces himself better - for five rounds as well.

    If you want to read more, below is an excerpt from my pre-fight breakdown about the Jones vs Reyes fight (https://forums.sherdog.com/threads/...-reyes-a-closer-look-at-the-match-up.4076223/):

    - Dominick Reyes -
    The former college football stand out who made his UFC debut on june the 25th of 2017 against Joachim Christensen has gained traction fast in the UFC, finishing all of his first three (arguably four) opponents by either TKO or Submission, quickly gaining him the reputation of a dangerous, powerful striker and while he has somewhat struggled in a close decision win against fellow kickboxer Volkan Özdemir (despite outstriking him 44 to 35 significant strikes), he quickly has added another dominant win to his resume, in which he has finished the former middleweight champion Chris Weidman by KO.
    What is it though that makes Reyes such a formidable fighter, especially on the feet? In the following, we'll take a closer look at Dominick Reyes' skills, with an emphasis on his striking, but before that, i'll invite you to another short excursus on what are some signs of (very) good strikers.

    Short excursus: what is a (very) good striker anyway?
    Generally speaking, most people would agree with the notion that a good striker is a fighter who wins the vast majority of his fights by outstriking and/or finishing his opponents on the feet.
    Wrestlers like Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov tend to outstrike (and beat) many of their opponents on the feet as well, but then again this is to a not to be overlooked part due to their phenomenal wrestling, so when being asked what they would consider to be the best strikers in mixed martial arts, people mostly mention guys like Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva and Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, whose strongest asset is the striking which takes place on the feet.
    Occasionally, people also mention guys like Francis Ngannou, but since a large part of Ngannou's effectiveness on the feet is due to his power and not his technique, many feel inclined to leave him out of their lists, when it comes to the best strikers in MMA.
    To narrow it down, a fighter is mostly considered to be a very good striker, when he's able to beat most of his opponents on the feet without an over-reliance of physical gifts like power, endurance and chin/durability having to make up for deficiencies in technique.
    Therefore, when strikers win a fight, they usually outstrike their opponents (if it goes to a decision) or they finish them via KO or TKO.
    But what is the difference between Israel Adesanya finishing Robert Whittaker and Derrick Lewis finishing Alexander Volkov? After all, both fights have ended by KO, right?
    The difference is, that one of those finishes has come due to technical superiority, while the other one has come due to physical superiority, at least in terms of punching power.
    Israel Adesanya, while certainly having solid power, is far from being a power puncher like Derrick Lewis is, yet his accuracy enables him to be extremely effective with his strikes.
    Thus, accuracy is something which is almost always seen amongst the best strikers and while the stat significant striking accuracy shows the percentage of strikes that a fighter lands, it doesn't show how much a fighter might abandon his defense in order to do so, so it can be quite a misleading stat at times.
    Also, most pressure fighters also tend to have less accuracy than counter strikers, but they land more strikes over the course of the whole fight. So is there any stat at all, which at least somewhat accurately shows how good of a striker a fighter is?
    The short answer is no. The longer answer is still no, but only to an extent, as there are two stats which - especially when a fighters ranks high in both - are a good indicator of how good of a striker a certain fighter is.One of these stats is the number of knockdowns (in relation to the total fight time of a fighter, or if we're super nit-picky: in relation to the number of total strikes a fighter has thrown/landed).
    If the fighters who rank high in this stat are not necessarily known for having insane power, chances are that they're very accurate with their strikes.
    The other stat is the significant strike differential.
    There are ways to rack up a high percentage for striking defense without being a defensive genius and there a ways to get up to a high percentage in terms of accuracy without being an accurate striker, but there's hardly a way in which you get a high significant strike differential without being proficient in the craft that is striking and this is due to one simple reason: it takes into account two of the most important stats in striking; the number of landed strikes (per minute) and the number of absorbed strikes (per minute), to be more exact, it's the difference between landed and absorbed (significant) strikes. It's the stat's equivalent to "hit and don't get hit."
    With these stats in mind, let's look at a table for comparison with some of the best current strikers and those who're typically being mentioned when people are asked about the best strikers in mixed martial arts and of course, Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes:

    [​IMG]

    Back to business, Dominick Reyes typically walks his opponents down, constantly looking to land on them and for the most part, being very successful in doing so, as he's very good at his shot selection, mixing it up really well and while he lands the third most strikes per minute amongst active light heavyweights, it's worth noting that he at no point gets reckless with his defense in order to land on his opponents and makes use of both good head and upper body movement in order to do so, which is why he's also the active light heavyweight with the third least significant strikes absorbed per minute.
    Away from numbers though, one of the things which becomes immediately apparent when watching Dominick Reyes fight, is that he's extremely fundamental.
    He pretty much never uses any kind of flashy strikes or techniques.
    Another thing which is typical for him is his frequent use of kicks; he throws a lot of them and he goes for all three targets: legs, body and the head.
    Given that he's a southpaw and mostly fights against orthodox fighters, it makes sense for his approach to be that kicking-heavy, as he has both body and head of his opponent as an open power-target for his rear leg, with which he's often found success, be it by landing crushing leg kicks like he did a couple of times against in his fight against Ovince St.Preux or by driving his shin right into the dome of his opponent, like he did here: [​IMG]
    As mentioned in the beginning already, Dominick Reyes, just like Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is a southpaw, and just like the croatian powerhouse, he also capitalizes on the southpaw double attack, which is frankly just a left cross followed by a left round kick or vice-versa.
    It's almost comically simple, but its effectiveness has been proven over and over again, to a huge part by Cro Cop alone.
    Basically, you're throwing one of these attacks, until the opponent forms the habit of reacting in a certain way to it, only for you to use the opponents habit against himself, making him eat either the punch or the kick as a result of anticipating the other and reacting accordingly.
    When throwing the left cross repeatedly, the opponent will either try to parry it, or lean to the outside in order to dodge it, which then makes him vulnerable to high kicks coming from the exact same side, but like i said, it works the other way around as well; throwing high kicks until the opponent automatically puts his arm up to the side of his head in anticipation of a high kick, only to absorb a powerful straight with the face.
    A detail worth noting is that Dominick Reyes is able to throw kicks without almost any wind up, which, coupled with his speed, makes it hard for his opponents to react in time and thus requires them to be constantly aware of that threat.

    Don't be fooled into thinking that Reyes is mainly a kicker though, in fact, he is just as good with his hands and while both his handspeed and his power are certainly good, what makes his boxing (and striking in general) stand out besides the selection of his shots itself, is his timing and accuracy; as a result of that, he has won three of his six bouts in the UFC by either KO or TKO, with his latest win coming by finish against former champion Chris Weidman, clocking the "All american" with a counter left cross, finishing the downed Weidman a few seconds later with a couple of hammerfists to the jaw.
    If you go back to watch his fight against St.Preux, you'll find that this decision win could've been ruled a KO as well, so Reyes really has proven to have tremendous accuracy in all these fights, with perfectly placed punches being the catalyst for what would shortly after end in a finish, with the exception of above mentioned fight, that is.
    [​IMG]
    "Precision beats power and timing beats speed" - As Chris Weidman extends his arm to land a right straight to Reyes head, Reyes steps slightlyto the left and just out of range, making Weidman's punch fall short while setting himself up to land a straight left right right to Chris Weidman's jaw, dropping him and thus enabling him to finish Weidman with the aforementioned hammerfists.

    Of course, it's not Reyes' accuracy alone which makes him so good in striking exchanges, as he needs to create and/or find those openings first.
    With great footwork and a fine understanding of angles as one of his main strengths, Reyes is able to do so often and with success; quite agile, especially laterally, Reyes displays fine footwork in his fights, often slipping punches while simultaneously stepping out on an angle to either reset himself or to punish his opponents from there.
    A great example of this besides the finish of Weidman, is the knockdown right at the end of his fight against Ovince St.Preux:
    [​IMG]
    Feeling like he has the cornered Reyes in a good position to unload on him, St.Preux steps in with a two punch combination while Reyes slips the first punch and rolls under the second one while escaping to the left and knocking OSP, who by now is completely out of position, down/out with a beautifully placed left hand.

    Once Reyes has noticably hurt an opponent, he'll not let his foot get off the gas pedal, continuously chasing said opponent down in order to not let him recover and eventually finish him. A rather known example of this happened during Reyes' fight against the former heavyweight and now middleweight contender Jared Cannonier:
    [​IMG]
    After making Cannonier miss a huge right hand, Reyes comes up to counter him with an upper cut, visibly stunning Cannonier. Reyes then proceeds to walk the hurt Cannonier down, constantly attacking him with both kicks and punches, eventually finishing him with another upper cut.

    [​IMG]
    Reyes backs the already rocked Joachim Christensen up against the cage and knocks him down with a left straight through the guard, eventually finishing him afterwards.


    Having talked about most areas in Reyes' stand up, the only thing we haven't talked about yet is his clinch. So far, Reyes has not been in the clinch very often nor very long, which is why it's hard to make a solid assessment on how good he really is there, but he did really well against St. Preux, landing quite a few elbows and punches to the head during OSP's attempts of taking Reyes down against the fence, being deep into the latters hips

    With all these things about Dominick Reyes' striking in mind, let's have a brief look at his grappling:
    As it is the case with most strikers, Reyes' grappling revolves mainly (but not exclusively!) around keeping the fight standing and while Chris Weidman was so far the only real wrestler to step in the cage against Reyes, Reyes has proven to be very capable when it comes to denying his opponents successful takedowns, stopping 21 of a total 25 takedown attempts during the tenure of his UFC career, which adds up to a takedown defense percentage of 84.1%, ranking him at place 4 amongst active light heavyweights in this regard.
    An interesting tactic in the area of Reyes' defensive grappling, is the so called "cheese grater" which is what Reyes and his team calls it, when an opponent has his grip around the hips of an against the cage pressed Reyes, while Reyes presses himself further into the netting wire of the cage, moving his body up and down, grinding the fingers of his opponents, eventually making them open their grip, thus losing control of a then released Dominick Reyes.
    As previously implied, Reyes' has shown to be comfortable on the ground, with his second win in the UFC coming by submission against Jeremy Kimball, who Reyes took down with a trip, quickly advancing in position on the ground and finally making Kimball tap to a rear naked choke which was tightly wrapped around his neck.

    To conclude it: Dominick Reyes might only be six fights into the UFC, but if we look at what he has shown so far, it's understandable why he has already made big waves: great striking, which in this case means proficiency in pretty much every area of the stand up department, be it timing and accuracy, shot selection, footwork and set-ups or power and speed, is what makes Dominick Reyes stand out in his division and contrary to many who're only good at one facet of this multi-faceted game that we call MMA, Reyes has proven to be a decent wrestler with a solid understanding of submission-grappling as well.
     

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