RIZIN Light Heavyweight Champ Jiri Prochazka Signs with UFC

Jiri Prochazka RIZIN
Jiri Prochazka vs. C. B. Dollaway Credit: RIZIN FF

The UFC has snatched up one of the hottest light heavyweights on the market.

Just weeks after his last appearance for Japan’s RIZIN FF, the promotion’s light heavyweight champion has made the move to the UFC. ESPN was first to report the signing Wednesday, which has not been officially announced. Prochazka, however, has long been seen as a fighter who could make an immediate impact in the UFC’s 205lb division.

The Czech fighter had also been circling a potential title fight with Bellator double-champ Ryan Bader. However, an attempt to hold that bout under the RIZIN banner late last year fell through when Bader could not come to terms with the Japanese promotion. Bader then called out Prochazka for a title fight in the Bellator cage.

Instead, Prochazka (26-3-1) will compete exclusively inside the octagon moving forward. The RIZIN champ will enter the UFC on the strength of an 11-fight win streak, with notable victories over C.B. Dollaway, Karl Albrektsson, Vadim Nemkov, King Mo Lawal, Brandon Halsey, and Fabio Maldonado, among others.

Prochazka also featured prominently on our 10 Light Heavyweight Prospects the UFC Should Sign in 2020 article published earlier this week.

No debut date has been set for Jiri Prochazka, although an appearance on one of the UFC’s European cards would not be surprising.