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Wilson Reis gets to shine in non-title fight

Wilson Reis

Believe it or not, the best thing to happen to the flyweight division was Demetrious Johnson having to pull out his schedule fight against Wilson Reis at UFC 201 in Atlanta. This is not wishing ill will on the champion ‘Mighty Mouse’, but it allowed Reis an opportunity to showcase himself and build toward his challenge for the flyweight belt.

Because Johnson has destroyed the competition in the division, the UFC had to dip down in the rankings and pull out the relative Reis to be the next guy to fight Johnson. At the time of the announcement that Reis would be Johnson’s opponent at UFC 201, Reis was only ranked eight in the UFC flyweight division and even heading into the event he only rose up to No. 7 in the division. Since joining the UFC, he was only 5-2 with six of his fights going to a decision.

Reis’ biggest win was against Dustin Ortiz, who has hung around the bottom of the rankings, and the only time he fought a top-five contender in the division he lost to Jussier Formiga. There was no reason to be excited for the fight when Johnson just dismantled the highly-rated and regarded Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Henry Cejudo inside three minutes at UFC 197.

But now, Reis was a focal point of UFC 201 when he would usually go unnoticed at events before. Reis made a risky, but very smart move to take a different fight with his clash against Johnson falling out, and fans wanted to make sure they paid attention to him since he’s going to be the next challenger for the flyweight belt.

Reis still did not take on a top opponent, but Hector Sandoval was 12-2 on the regional circuit heading into his UFC debut and built up a pretty decent reputation. Reis, though, used the platform to showcase his ability. Reis shook off a few early shows from Sandoval off like they were nothing and then quickly attacked Sandoval, took him down and captured the fasted submission in UFC flyweight history at 1:49 in the first round with a rear-naked choken.

Reis looked really good and he needed to.

Maybe it is still questionable is anybody can beat Johnson at this point in his career, but Reis no longer enters into the fight as a nobody who is being regarded as “Johnson’s next victim,” he is now “Johnson’s next challenge” and that was what the flyweight division desperately needed to build intrigue back up.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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