Jiri Prochazka eyes summer UFC return following shoulder surgery: ‘It’s getting much better’

Jiri Prochazka UFC
Mandatory Credit: Yong Teck Lim

Former undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka has sights fixed on a rather quickfire return from injury, with the Czech Republic native claiming a summer Octagon comeback could be on the cards.

Prochazka, the current #1 light heavyweight champion, vacated his undisputed crown back in December of last year ahead of UFC 282, after a debilitating shoulder injury suffered at the UFC Performance Institute forced him from the headlining bout.

Slated to fight Brazilian veteran, Glover Teixeira in Las Vegas, Nevada – Prochazka had minted himself as the undisputed light heavyweight champion with a fifth round rear-naked choke win over the Minas Gerais favorite back in June in Singapore.

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In the time since, both Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev fought to a draw in a vacant title fight at UFC 282, however, Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Jamahal Hill minted himself as the new undisputed light heavyweight titleholder with a decision win over Teixeira at UFC 283 last weekend in Brazil.

Jiri Prochazka outlines summer timeline for UFC return

Expected to challenge for Octagon gold in his immediate return to the UFC, Prochazka, who was expected to remain sidelined for up to a year, claims he could make a return as early as the summer.

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“Everything is going a great way,” Jiri Prochazka told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Next week I’m going to Las Vegas to continue in rehabilitation and all these processes to be quick, to [have] the fastest way back possible, I don’t want to be [too] fast for the shoulder, but it’s getting much better everybody expects, so I’m happy for that.”

“I think I can be back in July or August, something like that,” Jiri Prochazka explained. “Six or seven months, something like that. Because I don’t want the fastest way back just to fight. I know this is not the best attitude. I want to be sure that my body works for 200 percent, and I think it can be in summer of this year. Just let me work on that and I will be back as soon as possible.” 

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3-0 since his UFC arrival back in 2020, Prochazka managed to land consecutive knockout wins over both Volkan Oezdemir, and then Dominick Reyes.