Wilson Reis made a successful flyweight debut, but had to do so after overcoming adversity in a unanimous decision win over Joby Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 48. Reis has now won six of his last seven, and made the decision to drop down a weight class after a controversial split decision loss against Iuri Alcantara in his last outing.
The Brazilian, who formerly competed in Bellator, was rocked badly on two occasions in the second round, with Sanchez first landing a huge hook to momentarily drop Reis, then landing a huge head kick later in the round. After trying to follow up and finish the fight, he was unable to do so and paid the price after a comeback from Reis, who looked good at the end of the second round and throughout the third round.
Sanchez is now 6-1 as a professional though, at just 23, showed glimmers of potential in the performance against the much more experienced Reis. He entered on short notice to replace Tim Elliott for the bout, and put in an admirable effort.
Here is how the contest played out.
Wilson Reis is making his flyweight debut after making a 1-1 start inside the Octagon, while Joby Sanchez makes his UFC debut after defeating Antonio Banuelos. Interested to see how Sanchez can do on short notice against his second veteran in a row.
Round 1 – Sanchez on his bike with a lot of movement, Reis taking the centre and stalking his opponent. This seems to be the strategy going forward for both fighters. Reis lands the leg kick. Sanchez attempts the superman punch and ducks under Reis’s counter. Solid inside leg kick from Reis. A slow start from both fighters, trying to get the distance going. Body kick from Sanchez, Reis somewhat checking it. Outside leg kick but Reis unable to follow up. Sanchez leaps in with a right hook. Reis really softening the lead leg of Sanchez. Sanchez with the right then an uppercut, great combination. Straight left as he backs Sanchez up. Left high kick from Reis. Stiff right from Sanchez lands. He presses forward but eats a big leg kick. Sanchez does a great job of ducking under the combination of Reis, getting in the clinch before separating. Beautiful knee pick after the overhand right, getting into side control then momentarily getting the back. Sanchez regains guard, good job there. Reis gets the back again though! 1 minute remaining. Sanchezx standing but still a dangerous spot. That was a good approach from Sanchez, who survives the rest of the round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Reis.
Round 2 – Sanchez pushing forward, but Reis gets the better with a big left. Sanchez with a huge left hook dropping Reis momentarily! Absolutely huge shot there. Huge right high kick drops Reis! Holy moly! He follows it up! But Reis right back up. Now a big body kick from Sanchez. What a start to the round. Reis is still wobbly. He tried for the takedown and the clinch but Sanchez staying on his feet, keeping patient. Nice body kick from Sanchez. Still left lands for Reis. Sanchez ducks under the left of Reis, who gets the clinch now and drops down for a takedown. He gets it. Sanchez straight back up, but Reis has him in the clinch against the cage. Another takedown, and he has the back once again. Sanchez stands, Reis working some short shots. Sanchez with the elbows to the thighs and he forces Reis to let go. 2 minutes. Reis with a big body kick, Sanchez somewhat blocked it but that was still big. Reis with the combination as Sanchez misses. Good body shot then a right from Sanchez, who then land a left hook. Reis shoots in with a deep double leg but Sanchez defends. Reis has him against the cage now, he’s struggling to feet the fight down to the ground. And now he does. And the back again. He has him down this time, but Sanchez almost shakes him off. Reis adjusts. The round comes to a close. That would have been 10-8, but Reis did a good job towards the end of the round.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Sanchez (19-19).
Round 3 – Reis takes the centre. Sanchez misses a leaping hook. Reis with the body kick as Sanchez presses forward. A nice stiff left lands for Reis. 1-2 from Sanchez. Reis with the level change and he gets Sanchez to the mat, giving up his back to get to his feet – that’s an impressive technique for Sanchez. Reis has him against the fence and drags him to the mat, into mount, now back mount. Sanchez stands. Reis with both hooks in, landing short shots to the head. Sanchez shakes him off, but Reis has the clinch again and takes Sanchez down, getting the back once again but Sanchez shakes him off and gets to his feet. Joby needs a knockout, it would seem. Left hook from Sanchez, Reis countering. Sanchez missing with winging hooks. Beautiful disguised left from Reis, who gets the clinch and drags Sanchez down to the ground. Reis has the back, and is now working for the rear naked. He may have it. Only one hook in, but he’s still trying to crank on the neck. Sanchez looks okay here. Sanchez escapes and reverses the position, getting the guard now. Reis makes his way back up. Sanchez pushing forward, trying to land some combinations. Desperation mode for Sanchez now. Just 10 seconds left. Sanchez with a straight right. Sanchez misses a combination as the round comes to a close.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Reis (29-28 Reis).
Result: Reis via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
A fun fight to start the contest. Reis has now won six of his last seven, makes a successful flyweight debut and hands Sanchez his first loss, but Joby looked good considering the short notice and the fact it was his debut.
You can check out the full play-by-play for the event here on Cage Pages. The results for the card, as it stands, can be found below.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).