Newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champ Jiří Procházka has vowed he will return to the Octagon a different fighter.
Procházka defeated Glover Teixeira in a thrilling, back-and-forth affair at UFC 275 tonight. There were several moments in the fight when the 28-year-old Czech came within a hair’s breath of being submitted.
But with less than 30 seconds left in the final round and behind on the scorecards, Procházka came through with a rear-naked choke submission to end Teixeira’s short reign as champ.
Procházka Criticizes His Performance, Responds To Teixeira
Despite becoming not only the first fighter in his 20s since Jon Jones to win the light heavyweight belt, but also the first Czech to do so, Jiří was highly critical of his performance.
“I was a little bit lazy to set up some situations and to prepare him for the knockout…to see the moments, see the right places and catch it. That was my laziness in the fight,” said Procházka at the UFC 275 post fight press conference.
While Procházka may blame himself for how the fight played out, credit must surely be given to Teixeira, who was less than half a minute away from defending his title when the Czech earned his submission.
And given the razor thin margin with which the fight was won, many surely wouldn’t mind seeing the duo run it back, most notably Teixeira himself. The 42-year-old took to Twitter shortly after the fight to raise the possibility of a rematch.
Responding to the tweet, Procházka told press that he’s not opposed to the idea of fighting Glover again or facing Jan Blachowicz. But whoever he faces next, one thing is certain — Jiří will enter the Octagon as a much-improved fighter.
“It doesn’t matter (if it) will be Glover or Jan,” said Procházka. “Doesn’t matter. For me, it doesn’t matter. For the next fight, I swear I will be another fighter. Not like that. That was not (a) good performance for me.”
Procházka went on to say that he is used to fighting as the hunter at all times, not a survivor, which he felt he was during multiple points during the fight. Nevertheless, in the eyes of every 205er on the roster who witnessed his championship win, he has now become the hunted.
What do you think? Should Jiří Procházka have a rematch with Glover Teixeira?