Jiri Prochazka became the UFC light heavyweight champion this weekend, at UFC 275, but not in the manner many had expecting. The former RIZIN champ had carved an exciting path towards his fight with 42-year-old champ Glover Teixeira and many feared he would score another sensational KO inside the Octagon.
However, Teixeira proved the naysayer’s wrong, beating Prochazka over four rounds only to lose by a last minute submission. Prochazka left the cage with the gold around his waist, but he’s not happy about how that happened.
In the post-fight press conference he roasted his own performance, calling it “horrible”.
“From my side it was a horrible fight, horrible performance,” he said (ht MMA Junkie). “Honestly. You saw that fight. I just survived some moments. It’s my plan to be dominant and not just to be a survivor in there. For you it’s beautiful because you like to be entertained, but for a fighter, I like to fight clean.”
“I was a little bit lazy to set up some situations and to prepare him for the knockout, to watch in the striking,” Prochazka continued. “To see him, to see the moments, to see the right place, and catch it. That was my laziness in the fight.
“He didn’t surprise me with nothing. We knew all these things, and he was successful in there. So I have to work on that. Not just work on the training, but work on myself to stop doing things. I know where is the mistakes in my preparation, in my life, and what I have to change for the fight.”
This weekend’s title win was only the third Octagon appearance for Prochazka. He came to the promotion in 2020, off of RIZIN finishes over C.B. Dolloway, Fabio Maldonado and Muhammed Lawal.
His UFC debut was a first round KO of former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. He followed that up with a spinning elbow KO of Dominick Reyes, another former title challenger.
The win over Teixeira takes Prochazka’s overall record to 29-3-1. He stated that he would like to make his first title defence before the end of the year.