In just two fights within the UFC, Jiri Prochazka has established himself as a top contender in the light heavyweight division, and an exciting talent in the promotion. Now he plans on waiting for the next shot at the title, even if that means sitting out until next year
Heading into his UFC Vegas 25 main event opposite Dominick Reyes, Prochazka was fresh off of a massive win over Volkan Oezdemir, last July. He was looking to take out two former title challengers in as many fights under the UFC banner.
Boy, was he successful too. After a wild, back and forth first round of action, Jiri was able to score the massive second round knockout, landing a spinning back elbow that left Reyes face first and unconscious on the mat.
Jiri Prochazka Was Not Happy
As impressive as this performance was from Jiri Prochazka, he was not happy with the way he looked during this fight. This may come as a shock, given the way the rest of the MMA world reacted to his victory.
However Jiri explained in an interview recently, that he was not thrilled about how many times he got hit in the fight. He says that he has been working on his defense, and plans to continue with these efforts moving forward.
“I’m not happy with the fight. I’m happy that I made a step up from the first fight (in the UFC) because the first round (against Volkan) was horrible for me and I needed to change this style, and upgrade it to more defense and having my hands up, and that stuff,” Prochazka said.
“But there was some many punches that Dominick landed on me, and each one of those punches can be the finisher. That’s not the right way (to fight).”
As far as the finish itself, the spinning back elbow was incredible to see. However Prochazka says this was not something he had any practice with, he just threw the strike in the heat of the moment.
“That was just the flow. I used that in sparring just maybe three times while preparing, and that’s all.”
Waiting For A Title Shot
With that second UFC victory, Jiri Prochazka jumped to the number two spot in the 205lb rankings. This has put him in prime position to get a shot at gold, doing so in just his third fight with the promotion, which is shocking speed.
The only problem with this is that champ Jan Blachowicz is set to defend his belt against Glover Teixeira. However Jiri says that he has no problem waiting for the winner of this fight, even if that leaves him sidelined until the beginning of next year.
“I’ve thought about that… and I think I need a little time (to improve my skills). So I think (six months) would be a great time,” Prochazka said.
” I think I need a little time to upgrade my style a little bit. I’m growing from fight to fight, and for an opponent like Blachowicz or Teixeira, I need to take just a little time to upgrade my style and to use new weapons, to be more dangerous, to use more precision, because these mistakes from the fight with Reyes, I can’t do that in the title fight.”
Jiri Prochazka goes on to say that if the UFC wants him to fight someone like Aleksandar Rakic he will, but he feels like he earned the title shot. As disappointing as it may be for him to wait that long, he certainly is deserving of the title shot.