Renowned MMA journalist Luke Thomas believes Jiri Prochazka’s signature recklessness could lead to his defeat inside Madison Square Garden.
‘Denisa’ returns to the Octagon nearly 18 months removed from his Fight of the Year contender with Glover Teixeira. That was the last time fans had the chance to see Prochazka in action after the heavy hitter suffered a devastating shoulder injury, forcing him to relinquish the light heavyweight title.
UFC 295 will see Prochazka come back to reclaim the title he never lost, but his toughest test to date will be standing in his way.
In the time that Prochazka has been shelved, Alex Pereira has been on an absolute tear, earning knockouts against Sean Strickland and Israel Adesanya in back-to-back fights and claiming the middleweight title. He has since made the move from 185 to 205, scoring a win over former titleholder Jan Blachowicz. His split-decision victory against the Polish powerhouse earned him the opportunity to capture his second UFC title in less than a year.
Speaking with LowKick MMA in an exclusive interview, Luke Thomas of Morning Kombat believes that Prochazka could leave NYC with the gold once again wrapped around his waist, but admits that ‘Denisa’ will have a lot of things working against him come fight night.
“You’ve got a guy coming off a devastating injury, a terrible long layoff, and he fights reckless as sh*t,” Thomas said. “It’s gonna be hard to have him as a huge favorite. I mean, if people think he’s going to win, I don’t think that’s in any way crazy. That’s not. It’s not some absurd notion or anything because obviously, he became champion and not by accident.
“There are two parts to that story, but Pereira has been active. He has been a champion. I think that he has changed to a much more appropriate weight class which I think is going to help his chin. He is accurate. He is heavy-handed. He is much more judicious with his offense in general.“
Currently, Alex Pereira is listed as a slight favorite roughly 24 hours before UFC 295 kicks off. ‘Poatan’ is a -125 favorite, meaning you have to put $125 on the line to win $100. Prochazka is sitting at +105. A $100 bet on him could bring you a return of $105.
“I can understand why the oddsmakers see it as close, but you would not be surprised if Prochazka goes in there and does something absurd and wins,” Thomas added. “That’s what this guy does, even after a long layoff, but how many times can he get away with being insanely reckless?”