Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Jiří Procházka Explains ‘Tapping’ During Teixeira Fight

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jiří Procházka has explained his ‘taps’ against Glover Teixeira at UFC 275, admitting he was playing a “dangerous” game.

This past weekend, Procházka capped off a memorable three-fight run inside the Octagon with championship glory. While his fists had done the job in his previous two outings, sending Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes to sleep, Teixeira was built different in Singapore.

But in a fifth round where a finish was required to prevent the Brazilian retaining the gold, “Denisa” pulled something special out the bag, becoming the first man to submit Teixeira in professional MMA. With his last-gasp win, Procházka etched his name in UFC history as the promotion’s first titleholder from the Czech Republic.

Prior to his arrival on MMA’s biggest stage, Procházka built a reputation as a brutal knockout artist, but also one whose style was unique and somewhat flamboyant inside the cage.

While that was evident in his debut and sophomore appearances, the champ’s third walk to the cage saw him play a self-professed “dangerous” game inside the Octagon.

Throughout the memorable main event, “Denisa” found himself on his back and eating vicious elbows. Like the madman he is, the 29-year-old often responded by smiling and encouraging Teixeira to give him more. One way he did that was by playfully tapping the Brazilian on the back.

With many highlighting the taps on social media post-fight, Procházka sought to explain them during an appearance on The MMA Hour. While most, including referee Marc Goddard, acknowledged the faux nature of the patting, “Denisa” is aware of the risks and seemingly won’t be replicating them in future fights.

“I did that because I tried to push him, like to push him to give me more, give me more, show me more,” said Procházka. “Because I tried to make him (make) some action, and I wait for that action to do some (techniques) to reverse it. And that’s why I do I did that. Not for tapping, just for a strategy, but it was very dangerous. Now I realized that.

“Maybe (I’ll do it again), but not in the same (way), like with the same moves. Not with tapping.” (h/t MMA Fighting)

Had Goddard not been more aware, perhaps we’d have had a Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cuțelaba 1 situation on our hands…

Do you think Jiří Procházka was playing a risky game by tapping Glover Teixeira at UFC 275?

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