Fate wasn’t kind to Jiří Procházka this year. The Czech fighter never got to defend the UFC light heavyweight title he won in June against Glover Teixeira after he was forced to relinquish it because of a shoulder injury that will keep him indefinitely shelved.
Not many details of what happened have been made public, until recently, when UFC president Dana White sat down with Paddy Pimblett for a podcast. He says it happened in the gym when Prochazka’s coaches were trying to do some DIY fixing of the already-injured shoulder.
“That night when it all went down and we had our doctor look at him, the doctor literally said in all the years at the UFC, this is the worst shoulder injury we’ve ever seen.
“It’s pretty nasty and him being the f—ng savage that he is, he still wanted to fight. He said, ‘I could do it…’ No. You can’t fight, kid.
“What happened was, it popped out and he had some guys there at the gym (who tried to put it back in). And they f—ng ripped the shit out of it and destroyed his shoulder.”
Prochazka, who was (and still is) itching to prove his worth as a legitimate titleholder, wanted to fight on. White, however, advised against it.
“That night when we were in there and we were having the meeting, and we were talking about the possibility of him fighting again, he was saying, ‘I think I can come back in five months...’ and all this shit. The doctor was with us, too, and the doctor’s like ‘you need to start being realistic about this.’
“The thing that I told him is, ‘I don’t want to put that type of pressure on you where you feel like to come back in five or six months and destroy your shoulder again. Take the time, do it right, get the right surgery.’
“That night he decided that ‘I’m not gonna hold up the division, I’m gonna vacate the title.’ Stud.”
White then reminded Pimblett and all other fighters to leave the fixing to trained professionals and not their coaches.
“I tell you, I told him, I tell all the fighters: if anything happens to you, jump in a f—ng car and go to the hospital.
“We will pay for everything… people think that these guys at the gym can fix your shoulder, do this shit, that shit. Don’t even risk it. Just go to the hospital.”
Procházka maiden title defense was supposed to headline UFC 282 this weekend, a rematch against Teixeira. Former champion Jan Blachowicz will now get the chance to reclaim the belt as he faces Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant title.