Jiri Prochazka has seized UFC gold after just four fights into his run with the promotion.
In what’s being called one of the greatest title fights in UFC light-heavyweight history, the Czech warrior traded blows and positions back and forth with defending champion Glover Teixeira for 24 minutes in an all-out brawl at UFC 275.
Things were looking uncertain for the challenger until he sunk in a surprise rear-naked choke late into the fifth round, forcing Teixeira to submit.
“I was in a good position, and he left me to take his neck – he has a big head with big bones on the chin, so I used that [as leverage] against him,” he told reporters at his post-fight press conference.
“You have to take what the moment gives you – and he had a free neck, so I took that.”
Prochazka says, though he’s stoked to walk away with the win, he’s not happy with his overall performance inside the Octagon in Singapore.
“I’m satisfied, but some moments – like you saw – Glover had an advantage,” the 29-year-old lamented.
“I was a little bit lazy [in setting up] some situations and preparing him for the knockout.”
‘Denisa’ claims that, as wild as those five rounds were, he wasn’t surprised by anything the 42-year-old Brailian did in the fight, as he made sure to study his prey closely.
Instead, he admitted that any shortcomings in the fight were a result of his own performance, rather than shifting blame.
“[Glover] didn’t surprise me with anything. We knew all the things that he [can] do, and he was successful in there…”
He was clearly disappointed with aspects of the fight.
“From my side it was a horrible fight. A horrible performance… I [only] just survived some moments… I have to work on that. Not just work in training, but work in myself to stop doing things that are [detrimental], [and] just do the things that are effective at defeating the opponent.”
Looking forward to what’s next for the newly crowned champ, Prochazka’s interest was piqued at the mention of a rematch with the former champion he just submitted; though he isn’t ruling out taking on Jan Blachowicz, another previous 205-pound champion, who sat ringside for the affair.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Glover, or Jan next… just give me a little time to repair my face, and to realise the mistakes from this fight.”
“In the next fight, I swear I will be another fighter – not like that.”