UFC 282 Gets New Headliner After the ‘Czech Samurai’ Vacates Title

UFC, Jiri Prochazka

Getty Jiri Prochazka.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka has vacated the title and pulled out of his nearing clash next month, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.

Prochazka took on former champion Glover Teixeira in his last outing in July at UFC 275. Teixeira put in an impressive performance and appeared to be on his way to getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards when Prochazka pulled off a sensational comeback. With less than 30 seconds left in the bout, ‘Denisa’ locked in a tight guillotine choke to tap out Teixeira and become the first Czech fighter to hold the UFC title.

Although he promised former 205-pound king Jan Blachowicz a title shot going into the fight, he changed his stance after the close-fought war. Prochazka called for an immediate title rematch to avenge what he called the ‘worst performance‘ of his career.

Prochazka was scheduled to take on Teixeira in the headlining bout of UFC 282 on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blachowicz got booked against top-ranked contender Magomed Ankalaev to serve as the co-main event. However, the latest developments suggest a major overhaul of the card.

Prochazka Vacates Title After Pulling Out of UFC 282

Iole took to Twitter earlier today to report that Prochazka has pulled out of his nearing title rematch with Teixeira at UFC 282.

BREAKING: Jiri Prochazka PUT of UFC 282 with serious injury,” he wrote. “Glover turned down title fight. Jiri vacated. New main event is Blachowicz vs Ankalaev.

Iole further added that Teixeira turned down a shot for the gold. Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev will headline the event.

Brett Okamoto of ESPN shared more details about the change, writing, “Jiri Prochazka is out of UFC 282 due to a severe orthopedic injury. Timeframe for recovery is upwards of a year. According to UFC and Jiri’s representatives, it was his decision to vacate the belt out of respect for other contenders.

‘BJP’ had no hesitations in admitting he did not have the best night at the office in his last showing. Before he was forced to pull out of the nearing fight, Prochazka tried sensory deprivation, going without food and water for three days, in preparation for the rematch.

“It’s very helpful,” he said via MMA Fighting. “There is just you and you. No other people. That was my first time when I did that without food, so just with water. It’s much more strong when you’re without food. All the processes in your body is much stronger. Your mind’s working a lot, and you have to die here first.

“And three days, four days, that’s not so much. But I’m using that just to recognize who I am really, and then I can start training and pushing to the next level with truly me, more honestly.”

Prochazka went 3 days without food and water before the withdrawal

Now that Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2 got scrapped, here’s the revised card for UFC 282:

  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev – vacant light heavyweight title
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
  • Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria
  • Darren Till vs. Dricus Du Plessis
  • Edmen Shabazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
  • Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
  • Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
  • Erik Silva vs. TJ Brown
  • Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley
  • Daniel da Silva vs. Vinicius Salvador
  • Ronnie Lawrence vs. Cameron Saaiman
  • Jay Perrin vs. Raul Rosas Jr.
  • Ovince Saint Preux vs. Philipe Lins
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