UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka suffered a shoulder injury and has pulled out of his UFC 282 title fight against Glover Texeira, according to Yahoo Sports.
BREAKING: Jiri Prochazka PUT of UFC 282 with serious injury. Glover turned down title fight. Jiri vacated. New main event is Blachowicz vs Ankalaev. Story soon on @YahooSports
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) November 23, 2022
The report, published and first reported by Kevin Iole, states that Prochazka suffered the injury in training and is facing a significant time before being able to return to the octagon. Surgery is expected for Prochazka and because of the lengthy timetable to return from the injury, he has decided to vacate his title so the weight class doesn’t get stagnant. UFC President Dana White told Yahoo Sports that “He (Prochazka) is such a warrior and was so bummed out. He brought up stepping aside to us before we ever got there. He’s going to be out a long time and at some point, we would probably have had to strip him. But he brought it up to us and said out of respect for the other fighters, he didn’t want to hold up the division…”
This is where things get really interesting though.
The UFC reportedly offered Teixeira a bout against Magomed Ankalaev, who was in the co-main event against Jan Blachowicz, for the vacant title, but he declined it. In Yahoo Sports report they state that the promotion believes Texeira declined due to the fact he wanted to win the title back from Prochazka.
After all this chaos your new main event for UFC 282 is now former champion Blachowicz is facing Ankalaev for the light heavyweight title.
Our NEW light heavyweight title fight headlining #UFC282 🏆
Jiri Prochazka has suffered a significant shoulder injury. Out of respect to the athletes and the division he will vacate his title.@JanBlachowicz vs @AnkalaevM is your new main event for the undisputed UFC LHW belt! pic.twitter.com/CScRxmjWwS
— UFC (@ufc) November 23, 2022
Blachowicz lost the title to Texeira at UFC 267 in October of last year when Texeira submitted him in round two of their main event. Blachowicz rebounded with a win over Aleksandar Rakic in May which allowed him to be in the matchup with Ankalaev for a possible number-one contender’s bout.
For Ankalaev, he enters his title bout on a nine-fight winning streak after losing his UFC debut in 2018. Ankalaev has knocked out five of his opponents, including Anthony Smith this past July, during the course of his nine-fight winning streak and adding another would be the biggest of his career.
UFC 282 is set to take place on December 10th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.