Dominick Reyes entered his match against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 147 / UFC on ESPN+ 5 with a perfect 10-0 record. With the light heavyweight division being very competitive Reyes came in as the odds on favorite and ranked 8th in the division while Oezdemir had dropped the 6th after consecutive losses to Daniel Cormier and Anthony Smith.
The two fighters traded kicks and punches at the beginning of the first round with Reyes using his reach advantage. Reyes did receive a warning for a low blow when he avoided a kick from Oezdemir, who followed through with a spin. As his opponent was turning, Reyes stepped in and delivered a kick. It was ruled accidental and Oezdemir declined the five-minute recovery time the referee offered.
Both men landed some significant strikes and kicks in the first round of action with Reyes ahead on that count. Oezdemir was able to execute a solid take down in the first round but Reyes would return to a standing position relatively unscathed.
Oezdemir went on the offensive and started landing some head strikes while keeping space between himself and Reyes. Reyes went for a takedown but Oezdemir easily countered it. Throughout the round Oezdemir landed strikes and Reyes breathing became labored, constantly wiping his previously broken nose. The second round clearly went to Oezdemir as Reyes landed significantly less blows and was on the defensive a good portion of the round.
The third round was back and forth with both fighters taking turns being the aggressor. Towards the end of the round Reyes stepped up his game and landed a few head strikes but Volkan did well with some counters and strikes of his own. Oezdemir attempted a few take downs and had Reyes up against the fence but didn’t do any real damage once again.
Going into the official decision Oezdemir seemed confident that he had done enough during the fight to secure the win while Reyes was a little more subdued. When Bruce Buffer announced the judges scorecards as 29-28 Reyes, 29-28 Oezdemir and 29-28 Reyes, Volkan was obviously upset. The crowd started booing the decision to let the judges know they felt they scored the split decision incorrectly.
During his post-fight interview in the octagon Reyes called out current UFC Lightweight champ Jon Jones and told the fighter he was “coming for you!”.
Dominick retains improves upon his perfect record and goes to 11-0 while Volkan Oezdemir suffers a third consecutive loss and drops to 15-4. While the loss may affect Oezdemir’s official rankings in the division, a case could be made that he was the better overall fighter in this match. The rankings committee may not be as harsh on Oezdemir as the three consecutive losses suggest.