Fighter Spotlight: Jiří Procházka

Fighter Spotlight: Jiří Procházka

Taylor Dow|
November 07, 2023|

Fighter Spotlight: Jiří Procházka

Record: 29-3-1
Date of Birth: October 14, 1992 (age 31)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Height: 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Reach: 80 in (203 cm)
Nationality: Czech
Fighting out of: Brno, Czech Republic
Next Fight: Alex Pereira at UFC 295: Procházka vs. Pereira


Early Life

Jiří Procházka was born in Znojmo, Czechslovakia (now Czech Republic).

As a child, Procházka was an avid football and freestyle BMX fan.

Following the death of his father, Procházka found himself getting into street fights very often as a football hooligan, sometimes up to 100 in a week, as well as massive 30-on-30 brawls against opposing teams' supporters.

Procházka was introduced to martial arts before joining high school when his friend showed him videos of Ramon Dekkers, Mirko Cro Cop, and Fedor Emelianenko. This introduction led the young Procházka to watch the film Never Back Down and take up martial arts, particularly Muay Thai kickboxing.

Procházka is a follower of Bushido principles, Samurai moral values, and the teachings of Miyamoto Musashi.

Since 2017, Procházka has lived in a cottage about 30 minutes outside his hometown of Brno, near a reservoir. The cottage has electricity and other amenities; however, it has no gas, and he gets his water out of a well.

MMA Debut

Procházka began his professional MMA career in April 2012 when he faced Stanislav Futera in Gladiator Fighting Championship, the biggest promotion in his home country of the Czech Republic.

Procházka won the fight in 53 seconds by knockout and began his undefeated run as a professional MMA fighter.


First Fights

Procházka would follow up his debut with 3 more first-round finishes, 2 knockouts, and 1 submission against Vladimír Eis, Martin Vaniš, and Strahinja Denić. All of these fights took place in the Czech Republic in 2012.

Procházka's first career loss came in his fifth professional fight against Bojan Veličković, where he was TKO'd in round 1; however, Procházka did not let this hold him back and was back in with a TKO win of his own 2 months later.

Procházka was back again with another big 26-second KO by flying knee against Radovan Estocin 3 months later.

Procházka would return, but this time, in Moscow, Russia, facing Abdul-Kerim Edilov, where he received his second career loss by first-round submission.

Procházka's next 9 fights would see him go undefeated with 1 draw, with 7 finishes in the first round, as well as obtaining and defending the Gladiator Fighting Championship at Light Heavyweight.

Procházka was now 14-2-1, with 14 finishes, 13 of which were all in the first round, and ready for a shot in a big promotion.

The Rizin Era

Procházka received his most significant career opportunity to date when he was offered to fight in Japan under the Rizin banner, where he spent the better part of his career.

Procházka's Rizin debut saw him score a first-round head kick knockout against Satoshi Ishii on December 29, 2015, which granted him entry into the Rizin Light Heavyweight Grand Prix 2 days later.

During the Grand Prix, Procházka faced Vadim Nemkov, a future Bellator world champion, in the first leg of the tournament. Procházka retired Nemkov after the opening round due to an amalgamation of damage to move on to finals against former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion Muhammad Lawal. Lawal ended the fight by KO in the first round and gave Procházka his final career loss to date.

Procházka's next fight would see him score yet another first-round KO against Kazuyuki Fujita and return to his finishing ways.

Procházka would earn his one and only decision win in his following fight when he faced Mark Tanios during the Rizin Openweight Grand Prix in 2016.

Procházka continued this impressive finishing streak until joining the UFC, over big names such as Karl Albrektsson, Bruno Cappelozza, Brandon Halsey, Muhammad Lawal, Fábio Maldonado, and C. B. Dollaway. All of these finishes ended in knockout.

Procházka was now 26-3-1, with 25 finishes and 1 decision. He ended his Rizin run in December 2019 with a promotional record of 11-1.


A Quick Rush to a UFC Title

Procházka's UFC debut came against previous title challenger Volkan Oezdemir, where he landed a clean 1-2, which rendered Oezdemir unconscious at 49 seconds of round 2, winning him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Procházka's next fight would see him score his most amazing knockout to date when he faced another previous title challenger, Dominick Reyes. Procházka landed a spinning back elbow, which knocked Reyes out cold and earned him 2 bonus awards: 1 for Fight of the Night and 1 for Performance of the Night.

These 2 impressive victories earned Procházka a title shot against the new Light Heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira. Little did we know, this would be one of the greatest fights ever, as both men left it all on the line in an all-out war of attrition. Over the first 4 rounds, the action was back and forth; however, it seemed like Teixeira could be slightly up on the scorecards. Procházka dug deep in the final round and, with 28 seconds remaining in the fight, submitted the 2nd-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt by rear-naked choke to become the undisputed Light Heavyweight champion. This war would earn both men Fight of the Night and Fight of the Year for 2022.

Procházka was scheduled to rematch Teixeira at UFC 282 in December 2022. However, Procházka suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to pull out and relinquish the title 1 month prior. Procházka has been recovering ever since.

Next Fight

Catch Jiří Procházka when he takes on Alex Pereira for UFC gold at UFC 295: Procházka vs. Pereira.

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