The 205 pound division has been ruled for nearly a decade by the likes of Jon “Bones” Jones, Daniel Cormier and currently by Jan Blachowicz. It wasn’t until “Legendary Polish Power” got crowned that we saw the first European light heavyweight UFC champ in the organizations’ history. This weight class houses some of the most athletic and powerful fighters in 4 ounce gloves. They weigh as much as a heavyweight on fight night and have the ability to move around like welterweights in the octagon.
For UFC light heavyweight contender Jiri Prochazka this is no exception. At only 28 years of age, Jiri has been making noise in the game of MMA since he turned pro in 2012 by captivating audiences as one of the most calculated and violent finishers in his division. We can see from his nearly flawless record of 28 wins and only 3 losses (27 of which have come by stoppages) what caliber of fighter Jiri is. He hasn’t lost in nearly 6 years with the level of competition rapidly climbing each time. He made his mark in mainstream MMA by going 11-1 in Japanese Promotion Rizin, and now by going 2-0 in the UFC and taking out former title challengers Volkan Ozdemir in his UFC debut and Dominick Reyes both in the 2nd round. In his last outing vs Dominick Reyes, Jiri was put to the test vs a challenger that had once gone the full 5 rounds against one of the sports G.O.A.T.S, yet it only took the Czech Republic native 2 rounds to land one of the most beautiful spinning back elbows in MMA history. What makes this is more impressive is the fact that Jiri admitted to being momentarily unconscious from an up kick that he received from his opponent during one of their scrambles. We can see that as a fighter he does not shy away from the wars and is constantly evolving his game as a martial artist, but what is truly admirable is that Terminator like focus combined with the flow state he often goes into in his fights and that is what make him such a formidable challenger.
Even though many fighters have come into the UFC with tremendous hype or a spectacular record it’s safe to say that 99% of them have folded under the lights and pressure of fighting for the worlds premiere MMA organization. Yet, for this man it seems like another day in the office when he steps into the cage, it won’t be long before he is either thrust into a title eliminator or even getting the winner of Jan Blachowicz vs Glover Teixeira. In a recent interview with UFC legend Michael Bisping, Jiri let it be known he does not care about the fame or even the adoration that some fighters are after, he wants to be a UFC champion and the best in the world. The European MMA scene has been producing some of the most electric fighters in the game today and with the addition of Jiri Prochazka to the limelight, we could be looking at a new UFC champion in the making.