UFC light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka has decided who he wants to face from inside the Octagon for his first title defense.
At UFC 275 last month, Procházka completed a fairytale start to his UFC career. After knocking out Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes to get a high ranking and win gold, “Denisa” memorably won the 205-pound crown in Singapore.
Against veteran Glover Teixeira, Procházka played his part in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest championship showdowns in UFC history. Less than a minute before suffering an inevitable loss on the scorecards, the Czech star turned the script on the BJJ phenom, submitting him via a rear choke.
Since winning the belt and returning home to Brno, Czech Republic, talk has turned to who Procházka will face in his first defense. The options appear to be an immediate rematch with Teixeira, an all-European affair with Jan Blachowicz, or the winner of the Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev fight at UFC 277.
A week after his coronation, the new champion appeared to clarify his goals, highlighting his desire to face former titleholder Blachowicz on the duo’s home continent during an appearance on MMA hour.
“I think the most dangerous man here in the light heavyweight division under me is Jan Blachowicz. He can be the next challenger (for) me,” Procházka said. Europe, it will be the greatest event of all time, (in) martial arts. Me and him, Poland and the Czech Republic, they are side by side. I will be ready and I will win. It doesn’t matter, whatever it takes.
However, it looks like Blachowicz has been moved to the top step, with ‘Denisa’ instead looking to right a perceived wrong next time around.
Procházka makes decision regarding first title defense
In a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday, Procházka announced that he had officially decided who he wanted to put the belt against, and that makes for a grim tune for a certain Polish powerhouse…
“Hello everyone, I wish you a great day. And I made (a decision) for the next fight, and I want to fight Glover the next fight,” Procházka revealed. “Not because it will be another big fight, but just for a reason: my performance was poor in the first fight. I will show you why I am the champion, clearly, decisively. And I think Glover deserves it. So here’s the deal. I’ll show you why I’m the champion.
While the five-round war at UFC 275 was well received by fans, ‘Denisa’ was quick to admit he wasn’t happy with the way the fight went, despite quitting. the Singapore Indoor Stadium with gold in his possession.
After seemingly considering this, Procházka is looking to add a definitive and dominant win over Teixeira to his tally before moving on to other goals.
It remains to be seen if the promotion shares the same view, but after suggesting he would wait for communication before saying too much about his first defense, perhaps the champion’s latest remarks reflect the preference of the UFC.
Is a rematch against Glover Teixeira the best choice for Jiří Procházka’s first title defense?