Jiri Prochazka is no longer the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
Injured Prochazka Vacates Title
After suffering a severe orthopedic injury, Prochazka decided to withdraw from his title rematch with Glover Teixeira at UFC 282. Since he’ll likely be on the sidelines for a year due to the injury, Prochazka has opted to relinquish his UFC title out of respect for other contenders.
It has been learned through Prochazka’s manager that the champion injured his right shoulder while wrestling. The news was first reported by Kevin Iole, with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto providing additional info.
What Happens Now?
Prochazka’s original opponent Glover Texieira won’t be fighting for the title at UFC 282, after all. Instead, it will be top contenders Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev competing for the vacant light heavyweight title. It is still unclear why Texieira will be not be fighting for gold.
Blachowicz and Ankalaev were booked to fight in the co-main event months ago, but plans change as both men will go 5 rounds instead of 3 for the title.
Poland’s Blachowicz bounced back from his title loss to Teixeira with a win over Aleksander Rakic who injured his knee mid-fight. He’ll look to make it two wins in a row and become a two-time champion.
Ankalaev has yet to taste a UFC Championship but the Russian contender has left a trail of bodies on his way to the top of the division. Since losing his debut back in 2018, Ankalaev has amassed a 9-fight win streak, crushing the likes of former title challengers Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos and Volkan Oezdemir.
We’ll see a new champion crowned at UFC 282, which is less than a month out.