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Jiri Prochazka To Begin Second Title Push at UFC 300

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The former light heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka will return at UFC 300 to headline the preliminary card. The biggest card in UFC history goes down from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and that is the very setting where Prochazka begins his descent to his third UFC title shot.

Let’s not forget that the 31 year old is the former divisional champion and has only lost to one man in the UFC, the current champion, Alex Pereira (who, ironically headlines UFC 300). Before then, he put on one of the most memorable three-fight winning runs in UFC history.

He debuted against former title challenger, Volkan Oezdemir, where he scored a massive second-round knockout which earned him performance of the night winning honours. The Czech Republic native then headlined a fight night card against another former title challenger, Dominick Reyes. After an exciting first round and a half, Prochazka scored (another) performance of the night winning spinning elbow knockout. This fight also gained him fight of the night honours, proving just how entertaining it was.

Then came the title fight against Glover Teixeira in Singapore. In one of the best title fights we’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing, Prochazka was able to choke the belt away from his Brazillian foe. The fight, again, received fight of the night honours and also allowed Prochazka to walk away with the belt.

Unfortunately for the former Rizin light heavyweight champion, he suffered an injury in preparation for a rematch with Teixeira and decided to relinquish the belt and allow the division to continue without him.

His return would see him lose against Alex Pereira in an vacant title fight (after Jamahal Hill defeated Teixeira and relinquished himself due to injury) and now, he wants that one back.

Austria’s Aleksandar Rakic stands in Prochazka’s Way

Standing across from Prochazka at UFC 300 will be Austrian light heavyweight and perennial contender, Aleksandar Rakic. Rakic is 14-3 and has only lost twice in the UFC. He lost to Oezdemir via split decision in December 2019 before losing via TKO to former champion, Jan Blachowicz last time out. This one has an asterisk next to it, however, as Rakic suffered an injury in that one. Suffering a knee injury three weeks prior to that fight, Rakic tore his  anterior cruciate ligament during the fight, rendering him unable to continue.

A win over the former champion,¬†Prochazka would do phenomenal things for Rakic. He’s been out of action since that loss to Blachowicz back in May 2022 and UFC 300 will mark the longest time he’s had between fights in his career. He’s been without a win since March 2021 when he defeated former title challenger Thiago Santos via decision and will be itching to get his hand raised again.

If Rakic can stay calm in the moment, not get mesmerised by Prochazka’s strange style and pick up the victory, we could see him in a title shot towards the end of the year. He has to get past the very difficult task of beating the former champion, Prochazka, who himself is hungry to get his loss back against Alex Pereira.

This fight headlines the preliminary second of the stacked card.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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