Surprisingly, it was Reyes’s last MMA win to date.
As far as fighters’ destinies are concerned, MMA works in mysterious ways. When you look back at the fight between Yahir Reyes and Estevan Payan at Bellator 6 and watch that devastating knockout shot by Reyes, you can hardly think that Reyes would lose two fights after that and in fact stop fighting at all. Neither would you guess that Estevan Payan would have eight of his fifteen wins after he was put down to sleep with a stunning backfist. But that’s just what happened.
The road to Bellator’s cage was not at all easy for Payan. Former staff sergeant, he had three tours of duty in Iraq and after that he retired to pursue his martial artist’s career. By that time he was a father of five little children, that’s why winning at Bellator was not just a matter of self-esteem but also a way to take care of the family. When Payan defeated Luis Palomino in his debut fight at Bellator in the featherweight quarterfinals, he earned $25 000 and claimed the prize of $50 000 at the semifinal. The only obstacle on his way to the reward was Yahir Reyes. That skilled kick boxer boasted a record of 13 wins and only 5 losses by that time and no one could imagine his win over Payan would be his last to date.
Life is strange sometimes, but all this amateur philosophy has nothing to deal with the knockout itself. Reyes’s shot was a perfect MMA masterpiece. Yahir pretended to throw a low kick and then landed a spinning backfist right on the button. Watch the slow-motion replay to see how the shot somewhat lifted Payan off the mat and next moment Estevan fell down like a chopped tree. Thumbs up for Payan who found strength and courage to recover and continue fighting. And, yeah, we do miss Yahir Reyes and hope he gets back to the cage someday.