In just the second fight of his UFC career, Jiri Prochazka will be in a headlining role, opposite of Dominick Reyes. If successful in this bout, the Czech fighter believes he can be in line for a crack at UFC gold.
First coming into the public eye with his run in Japanese promotion Rizin, Prochazka was the promotions light heavyweight champion. That is why there was a lot of anticipation for his debut in the UFC, when he signed with the promotion in 2020.
From the jump, Jiri made a massive impact, with a stunning victory in his promotional debut. He knocked out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in the second round, with a massive overhead right to make a splash.
Jiri Prochazka Wants A Title Shot
In his second UFC outing, Jiri Prochazka will be taking on another former title challenger in Dominick Reyes. If successful in this fight, he believes that he should be next in line at light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz.
Speaking in an interview with MiddleEasy, the former Rizin champ said that he expects Jan to get past his likely next challenge in Glover Teixeira. After that, he thinks the champ may try his hand at heavyweight, and that would line him up for a shot at the vacant title.
“We will see what the next step will be for Jan Blachowicz, if he will go to heavyweight. Then, the title will be free so the winner from our fight, (which will be) me, will fight for the title,” Prochazka said.
“Glover surprised me with his performance against (Thiago) Santos. He (had) a nice performance, but still I think Jan Blachowicz (will defend the belt).”
Other Options Instead Of The Title
If he does not get a crack at UFC gold with a win on May 1st, it seems likely that the next best thing would be a bout between Jiri Prochazka and Alexander Rakic. The number two ranked 205lb fighter is coming off of a win over Thiago Santos.
Jiri was not particularly impressed with how Rakic looked in the fight with Thiago. He feels like if they do have to square off, he would easily get the better of the Austrian fighter.
“Alexander Rakic is a hard worker. He’s a hard worker. His fighting style is about hard work, hard wrestling, hard punching, but there’s no precision. My fighting style is more about thinking, to see the weak points and shoot it, and take the win,” Prochazka explained.
“I think (Rakic’s fight with Santos) was for points, and not so much action. I think Thiago Santos didn’t show his best in that fight.”
First things first, Jiri Prochazka is set to face Dominick Reyes on May 1st. If successful here, it will be interesting to see where he goes from there.