Monday, August 8, 2022

Jiří Procházka Makes U-Turn When Announcing Desired Next Opponent

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jiří Procházka has decided who he wants to stand opposite from inside the Octagon for his first title defense.

At UFC 275 last month, Procházka completed a fairytale start to his UFC career. Having knocked out Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes to earn a high ranking and shot at gold, “Denisa” secured the 205-pound crown in memorable fashion in Singapore.

Against veteran Glover Teixeira, Procházka played his part in what is being widely regarded as one of the greatest championship showdowns in UFC history. With less than a minute until he suffered an inevitable defeat on the scorecards, the Czech star flipped the script on the BJJ phenom, submitting him via rear-naked choke.

Since winning the belt and returning home to an adoring crowd in Brno, Czech Republic, talk has turned to who Procházka will face in his first defense. The options appear to be an immediate rematch with Teixeira, an all-European affair with Jan Blachowicz, or the winner of UFC 277’s Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev bout.

A week on from his crowning, the new champ appeared to make his targets clear, outlining his desire to face former titleholder Blachowicz in the pair’s home continent during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

”I think the most dangerous man here in the light heavyweight division under me, there is Jan Blachowicz. He can be the next challenger (for) me,” Procházka said. ”I think for Europe, that will be the biggest event ever, (in) the martial arts. Me and him, Poland and Czech Republic, they are next to (each other). I will be ready, and I will win. Doesn’t matter, whatever it takes.”

However, it seems Blachowicz has been displaced on the top step, with “Denisa” looking to right a perceived wrong next time out instead.

Procházka Makes Decision About First Title Defense

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday, Procházka announced that he’d officially decided who he wants to put the belt on the line against, and it makes for grim listening for a certain Polish powerhouse…

“Hello everybody, I wish you a great day. And I made (a decision) for next fight, and I wanna fight Glover the next fight,” Procházka revealed. “Not because it will be another big fight, but just one reason: my performance was bad in first fight. I will show you why I am the champion, clearly, decisively. And I think Glover deserves it. So, here is the offer. I will show you why I am the champion.”

While the back and forth five-round war at UFC 275 made great viewing for the fans, “Denisa” quickly admitted he wasn’t happy with how the fight played out, despite leaving the Singapore Indoor Stadium with gold in his possession.

Having seemingly reflected on that, Procházka is looking to add a definitive and dominant victory over Teixeira to his record before moving on to other targets.

It remains to be seen whether the promotion shares the same view but having suggested he would be awaiting communication before saying too much about his first defense, perhaps the champ’s latest remarks are reflective of the UFC’s preference.

Is a rematch against Glover Teixeira the best choice for Jiří Procházka’s first title defense?

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