Ben Askren Knew Jiri Prochazka’s ‘Witchcraft’ Comments Would Cost Him in Alex Pereira Rematch

Askren suggested that as soon as Prochazka accused Pereira of using magic in his fights, it was all over for the Czech.

Jiri Prochazka On Alex Pereira Using Magic
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Jiri Prochazka’s head was in the wrong place going into his anticipated title rematch with Alex Pereira. 

After coming up short against ‘Poatan’ in their November 2023 clash, Prochazka walked into T-Mobile Arena ready to right the wrongs of the past and reclaim the light heavyweight title he once briefly held. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. 

Seconds into the second stanza, Pereira unleashed a picture-perfect head kick that sent ‘BJP’ crashing to the canvas. A few follow-up shots later and that’s all she wrote. 

But according to former Bellator and ONE world champion Ben Askren, it was already over long before they stepped inside the Octagon. 

In the days leading up to their rematch, Prochazka suggested that Pereira has been using “shamanics,” or in layman’s terms, magic, to win his fights. The Czech doubled down on his accusations during the UFC 303 press conference and at the official weigh-ins. 

Askren Believes It Was Over Even Before Prochazka Stepped in the Octagon with Alex Pereira

Speaking with former two-division champion Daniel Cormier on their Funky and the Champ podcast, Askren suggested that he knew it was all over for Prochazka once he started talking about “witchcraft.” 

“I hate it,” Askren said of Prochazka’s thoughts leading into UFC 303. “If you start talking like that, that is a clear sign you’re going to get your ass kicked. If you’re starting to worry about witchcraft, no, you’re done. You’re not going to win.

“I said, ‘Listen, if he’s worrying about witchcraft, this is going to be over quick. He’s going to get knocked out,’ and that’s what happened. … When you get that far, it’s a little too far. I said it – I hate this. I hate the fact he was thinking about this kind of stuff. If you think about that type of stuff, it’s probably over for you.”

With the win at UFC 303, Alex Pereira moved to 8-1 in his UFC career. He has now successfully defended his light heavyweight title twice after landing a stellar first-round KO against another ex-champion—Jamahal Hill—at UFC 300 in April. 

With two big fights in the last three months, Pereira will presumably take some time to rest, but his next big test will likely come this fall when he is expected to face No. 2 ranked contender Magomed Ankalaev.

As for Prochazka, the former champ’s team recently suggested that a move to middleweight may be in his future, and could be the “restart” he needs right now.

Watch the full episode below:

Published on July 5, 2024 at 1:47 pm
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