Jiri Prochazka Injured, Vacates Title; Blachowicz vs Ankalaev New UFC 282 Main Event

New UFC champ Jiri Prochazka in Brno, Czech Republic
New UFC light heavyweight champ Jiri Prochazka in Brno, Czech Republic Credit: Paradigm Sports/Twitter

This Wednesday evening, the MMA world were hit with the extremely shocking news that light heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka, has vacated his strap due to a severe orthopaedic injury ruling him out for upwards of a year.

First reported by Yahoo Sports.

Prochazka was set to defend his title in a huge rematch against former champion, Glover Teixeira, at UFC 282 on December 11th. Teixeira though, has reportedly turned down the opportunity to fight against another contender for the vacant title, pathing the way for a new main event.

Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka, UFC 275
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – JUNE 10: (L-R) Opponents Glover Teixeira of Brazil and Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic fo during the UFC 275 weigh-in at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 10, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

With the 43-year-old stepping aside, the new main event will consist of a fight between former champion, Jan Blachowicz and streaking Russian, Magomed Ankalaev. It is also being reported that this fight will serve as a vacant title fight. The two contenders were already matched against each-other for the co-main event.

The aforementioned, Blachowicz, is coming off the back of a win over Alexander Rakic and is currently occupying rank 2. That bout of course has a question mark over it as Rakic suffered a leg injury in round 3, ending the fight.

Ankalaev on the other hand is riding a nine fight win streak, with his last win coming over UFC veteran, Anthony Smith, and occupies rank 3.

Representatives of Jiri Prochazka have mentioned that the 30-year-old vacated his belt ‘out of respect for other contenders.’