On May 7, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will jump back into action to defend his title against surging contender Jiri Prochazka. Expected to headline UFC 274, the fight is one with the potential to steal headlines and will likely open with tight betting odds.
Known for his wild decision-making and unorthodox strikes, #2 light heavyweight Prochazka has blasted his way through the ranks, knocking out both Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes respectively. Since beating the latter in a performance worthy of ‘Knockout of the Year’, the 29-year-old has patiently waited for his crack at UFC gold.
While he will still conduct training camp back home in the Czech Republic at Jetsaam Gym, Prochazka will be spending some time in the United States, working with the likes of Henry Cejudo at Fight Ready in Arizona. He explained to The AllStar why seeking guidance from someone as accomplished as Cejudo can help level up his game.
“I want to work on defending [takedowns], especially the defending, through short weapons [such as] the knees and elbows in [close] distance. And especially the ground game – the punches. I like to work on the ground, [but] in my fights I don’t have a chance to be there and enjoy that.”
“I feel much better in the stand-up where it’s my strongest position,” Prochazka added. “But that’s what I want to work [on].”
There are few with the skills to match “BJP” on the feet. Due to this, he’s aware that the plan for his opposition will be to score takedowns in an attempt to dominate. Along with training under Cejudo, he’s keen to learn this expertise from the division’s greatest ever, Jon Jones.
Since leaving Jackson Wink last year, Jones has settled at Fight Ready. And with the opportunity to train alongside the two-time champion, Jiri knew it was an experience he had to jump on.
“I want to train with him, seriously train with him. He’s one of the best guys in the history [of the sport]” Prochazka revealed. “Maybe [the] best. I want to work with a guy who [has that] mindset, [great] technique that he shows in [his] fights, and learn from him. Maybe I will show him my angle of thinking about fighting? [I want to] take from the best. I think it will work.”
Currently planning to spend three weeks in America in February, Prochazka explained why he opts to do training camp at home rather than making a permanent move stateside.
“Maybe I will return [to America], but the best strategy and [preparation] I’ve had in my career has been in my hometown. That’s when I’m feeling the best.”
“[Right now] I know it has to be in the gym with my guys because they know me. Every time [we prepare] we’re working on my mistakes, bad habits, and destroying them so I can [get] better. [To] do that you don’t have to be in America or Antarctica or wherever, you just have to work with the guys who know how to repair [your mistakes].”