EXCLUSIVE | Jiri Prochazka Confirms He’s Backup At UFC 267

Jiri Prochazka
Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC.

Surging UFC light heavyweight contender Jiri Prochazka will serve as the backup fighter to the upcoming Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira title fight at UFC 267, as he confirmed during a recent interview with LowKickMMA’s James Lynch.

Prochazka is fresh off his dominant win over Dominick Reyes at UFC Vegas 25 earlier this year, in which he completely overwhelmed the former two-time light heavyweight title challenger en route to a TKO victory. The former Rizin champion has been electric since signing with the UFC, with back-to-back finishes over Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir.

Prochazka has been on the sidelines ever since, as he awaits what can be presumed as the next shot at the light heavyweight title. During his sit-down with Lynch, Prochazka talked about what’s next for him.

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“I’m still the backup plan for [Blachowicz vs. Teixeira],” Prochazka said. “Right now I’m prepared for that. I need to keep my weight down for this fight for the weigh-in and I’ll be there to see the fight live. Those are my potential next opponents, and I want to be ready for them.”

Blachowicz has been a dominant champion since earning the vacant belt over Reyes at UFC 253. Earlier this year, he showcased his elite grappling to stifle Israel Adesanya at UFC 259. Prochazka would present a unique problem for both Blachowicz and Teixeira, as his style is seen as uncommon in today’s MMA. If the proposed UFC 267 title fight goes ahead of plans, Prochazka expects Blachowicz to retain the light-heavyweight belt.

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“I think the favourite is Blachowicz, of course. But, we will see because Teixeira wants the title and he’ll do everything for the title. Maybe it will be something new. I think Blachowicz will defend that (the title),”

Prochazka has some of the toughest striking to figure out in the UFC’s light heavyweight division; constantly using his quick lateral movement to confuse his opposition. He also has a textbook personality of a martial artist, training at times in the forests of the Czech Republic and showing the poise of a fight-game veteran.

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Prochazka has been the target of some of the top light heavyweight contenders as of late on social media, including Aleksandar Rakic. If he ends up getting a shot on short notice at UFC 267, Prochazka intends on making the most of the opportunity.

What is your reaction to Jiri Prochazka’s recent interview with James Lynch?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.