Wilson Reis on what went wrong vs. Demetrious Johnson, what could go right vs. Henry Cejudo

Some fighters like to keep things vague when asked about their gameplans. When it comes to his upcoming UFC 215 meeting with Henry Cejudo, though, Wilson Reis is not one of them.

Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), both one-time flyweight title challengers, meet in an FS1-televised preliminary card bout this Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The two will also be looking to rebound, with Reis coming off a failed title bid Demetrious Johnson and Cejudo riding a two-fight losing skid after dropping a narrow split decision to Joseph Benavidez.

Considering Cejudo’s delicate position, Reis expects an even hungrier opponent. Convinced he actually won his TUF 24 match against perennial contender Benavidez, he’s not looking past the Olympic champion Cejudos’ athletic experience and toughness.

But Reis also believes he’s outlined the path to a victorious night.

“Cejudo is good in every area, but he’s much stronger in his striking and wrestling. His ground game isn’t that good,” Reis told MMAjunkie. “So I want to explore that. My strategy will be focused on taking him down and keeping the fight on the ground, with a strategy to submit him or finish the fight on the ground-and-pound.”

The Brazilian flyweight’s specific view isn’t limited to Saturday’s scrap. While “let’s wait and see” is often the route taken by fighters with immediate challenges in mind, Reis enters the octagon with a clear plan of what should follow.

“I want to win very well. I want to win in the first round,” Reis said. “I’m focused on that, because I want to fight once more this year. I think the No. 1 fighter in the rankings, Benavidez, won’t return this year because of his injury. So I want to win well and fight in the last event of the year (UFC 219). It’s a dream of mine to fight in Las Vegas.”

Currently ranked No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, Reis is hoping a win over No. 3 Cejudo will also catapult him back to the top of the flyweight division – which, in turn, might get him another stab at the 125-pound title.

If a second title meeting should ever materialize, though, Reis might request a longer preparation window.

When he and Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) met for the first time, at UFC on FOX 24 in April, Reis was coming off a three-round effort against Ulka Sasaki in February. Johnson locked in a third-round submission, becoming the first man to ever finish the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert on the ground in all of Reis’ pro MMA bouts.

Looking back, the Brazilian fighter is grateful he even got the opportunity to meet Johnson with a title on the line. But he also believes the quick turnaround had a role in how things played out.

“The publicity, all the media, and the opportunity the UFC gave me of meeting Demetrious for the belt – that was great,” Reis said. “But I think that, since I’d fought two months before, I didn’t have time to rest. I think I was very tired, very limited by the end of my camp to meet Demetrious.

“When the fight started I was doing well, the strategy was going well. But, by the time the third round began, I was already pretty worn out.”

Being rested, Reis said, could have at least ensured a better fight for both the fans and himself. Which is not to say Johnson – who’s looking at a record-breaking 11th consecutive title defense win should he be able to get past Ray Borg in Saturday’s headliner – didn’t play a role in that, too.

“But, of course, this has everything to do with how good Demetrious Johnson is physically and technically,” Reis said. “I think he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in our sport. And it was a pleasure fighting him. I’ve also learned a lot about myself in that fight, so I’m much stronger going into the next one.”

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/egQcjuD37BzoaBxbxpqg5m/270518”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Johnson def. Reis”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *