Jiri Prochazka, Modern-Day Samurai, Vacates UFC Light Heavyweight Title Due To Injury
(Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
— Updated on 30 January 2023

Jiri Prochazka, Modern-Day Samurai, Vacates UFC Light Heavyweight Title Due To Injury

— Updated on 30 January 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

While most professional fighters would cling to their title by any means possible, Jiri Prochazka has put his bushido principles where his mouth is by vacating the UFC light heavyweight title, graciously allowing the division to progress while he recovers from a “severe” shoulder injury (the worst in UFC history, according to promotion president Dana White).

“It was actually Jiri’s decision,” Prochazka’s manager Tim Simpson confirmed to ESPN.

“He has a samurai way of life, and once he knew how long he would be out, he said, ‘I must respect the other fighters and let them fight for the belt.’ He believes they can have the belt but he will still be the champion.”

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“I will not hold the light heavyweight division and will vacate the title. I will go for the UFC belt as soon as the doctors give me the green light to fight,” Prochazka stated in an Instagram post.

“I’m going to go for the belt and I’m going to get it no matter who currently holds it. It’s always been the most important thing for me to put on the best performance and compare myself to the best.”

“Let the best show no matter who’s there now. I’ll be back in six months and I’ll take the title whoever holds it.”

Jiri Prochazka was initially scheduled to defend his strap against Glover Teixeira in the main event of December’s UFC 282. Now, the card will be headlined by former light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz – who relinquished the throne to Teixeira at UFC 267 – and rising star Magomed Ankalaev at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas.

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“We offered Glover the fight [against Ankalaev]. For some reason, he didn’t want the fight, so we had to move on,” revealed Dana White.

“If we couldn’t have the rematch, getting Ankalaev, who has the second-longest winning streak in light heavyweight history, and Blachowicz, who is the former champion, is really fortunate.”

“It all fell into place for us as it often seems to do. But that’s a great fight, too, and now it’s for the full title.”

UFC light heavyweight championship title aside, Jiri Prochazka has been enjoying an impressive 13-fight win streak, and if all goes to plan, you can certainly expect some additions to his win column after that nasty shoulder injury heals.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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