Everything you need to know about mixed martial artist and UFC light-heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka.
|Born:||14th October, 1992|
|Birthplace:||Znojmo, Czech Republic|
|Resides:||Brno, Czech Republic|
|UFC Record||3-0 (2 ko)|
|MMA Record||29-3 (25 ko)|
|Next Fight:||Alex Pereira (12th November)|
UFC 295 in Madison Square Garden, New York, will see a new light-heavyweight champion crowned as Jiri Prochazka squares up to Brazilian veteran Alex Pereira.
Originally the co-headline fight of the night, it now has top billing after an injury to Jon Jones forced his encounter with Stipe Miocic to be called off.
It was back in June 2022 when Prochazka won the light-heavyweight title in a Fight of the Year showdown with Glover Teixeira, but a serious shoulder injury stopped him from ever being able to defend.
Prochazka is still the No.1 in the rankings so gets the chance to reclaim his title against Pereira, a renowned kickboxer, who made his MMA light-heavyweight debut at UFC 291, beating Jan Blachowicz on a split decision.
It's an intriguing fight on so many levels with question marks from whether Prochazka's shoulder will hold up, to whether Pereira can deal with a proven brute in just his second UFC fight at light-heavyweight.
Whether or not it’s mind games, Prochazka clearly has doubts about his opponent, saying: "I think he is one of the best striking at middleweight. But light-heavyweight? We will see.
"He defeated Jan Blachowicz. It was not 100 percent for that, but OK, he defeated him."
Despite his confidence, Prochazka is the outsider to win the fight, with Pereira priced at 4/6.
After starring in his home Czech Republic in the Gladiator Fighting Championship and then enjoying four thrilling years in Japan in the Rizin Fighting Federation – he became that promotion's first light-heavyweight champion – Prochazka signed his first UFC contract in January 2020.
And three fights in, the man dubbed 'The Czech Samurai' during his days in Japan, has made a huge impact.
His first fight in July 2020 was against Volkan Oezdemir in UFC 251. Oezdemir probably won the first round; within a minute of the start of the second, however, he'd been knocked out.
Prochazka had a decent reputation arriving in UFC and he had cemented it straight away with a Performance of the Night bonus on his debut.
He then went on to produce another highlights-reel win over two-time light-heavyweight champion Dominick Reyes and less than 18 months after signing his first contract he was being lined up for a title fight.
Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira had originally been slated to top the bill at UFC 274 in May 2022 but for undisclosed reasons the fight was moved back a month to UFC 275.
The stage was the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the two men laid on a thriller, both hitting the canvas in a to-and-fro bout which Prochazka won via rear-naked choke submission in the fifth.
It was four-and-a-half rounds of anarchy which earned the Czech Performance of the Night honours, and the tussle was also voted Fight of the Year.
He had become the first Czech UFC champion after just three fights in the promotion and MMA fans were counting down the days until UFC 282 in December when Prochazka and Teixeira would meet again.
However, a shoulder injury sustained in training, described as the worst he'd ever seen by the doctor who examined him, stopped that fight from taking place and has kept the champion out of the cage for 18 months.
Jiri Prochazka's net worth is estimated to be in the region of $1.2m.
How to watch Jiri Prochazka
Jiri Prochazka v Alex Pereira will be screened live on TNT Sports 1 in the early hours of Sunday, 12th November. The main card starts at around midnight with the headliners expected in the octagon at around 4am.
Who is Jiri Prochazka's trainer?
Jiri Prochazka is trained by Bulgarian Martin Karaivanov and fellow Czech Jaroslav Hovezak.