UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jiří Procházka has explained why he rejected an offer to defend his title against Glover Teixeira in Brazil.
Closing out 2022 at the promotion’s final pay-per-view, Procházka will put his 205-pound gold on the line against the very same man whom he took it from at UFC 275 this past June.
While a number of suiters looked to stake their claim for the position, “Denisa” insisted that he wanted to run it back with Teixeira in order to secure a more definitive win than the last-gasp submission he recorded in Singapore.
At UFC 282 on December 10, the first Czech champion on MMA’s biggest stage will have that opportunity.
While the rematch has been confirmed for the Las Vegas-held event, initial rumors suggested that the promotion was looking to add it to the card scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil the following month.
Now, Procházka has revealed why he pushed back against that desire.
Procházka: “I Want To Fight As Soon As Possible”
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Procházka was asked whether he’d asserted his authority as champion in order to prevent Teixeira from being granted a home title challenge.
After confirming that was part of his reasoning for turning down the UFC 283 date, the light heavyweight king also suggested that it came down to timing, with him looking to add a second fight to his 2022 record.
“Yeah, that’s what happened. That’s the second reason, to take it from the strategy point, to fight in Vegas,” Procházka said. “The first reason was just, and is still, I want to fight as soon as possible. So, that’s December, and I’m looking forward to that.
“It (would’ve been) a good challenge, but I don’t need this type of challenge. I want to just fight as soon as possible. December is a good date. It’s the 10th of December, so it’s still this year,” Procházka added. “Now I’m the champion, I want to fight more often.”
While Brazilian fans won’t see veteran former champion Teixeira in action on January 21, a number of fighters native to the country are still being lined up to feature on the card, including Deiveson Figueiredo, Johnny Walker, Shogun Rua, and Gregory Rodrigues
Are you surprised that Jiří Procházka rejected the chance to defend his belt against Glover Teixeira in Brazil?
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.