Jiri Prochazka Believes He Deserves Title Shot Following UFC 300

Las Vegas, NV — After losing to Alex Pereira with his old light heavyweight title on the line last fall at UFC 295, Jiri Prochazka felt he needed a push.

He got that in Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300, in a fight that has vaulted the Czech star back into title contention.

“After that fight in New York, I felt I needed a push. I need some push from some opponent who will be aggressive, who will be tough. Like a tough guy,” Prochazka (30-4-1) admitted following Saturday’s back-and-forth firefight. “Aleksander was really, especially like that.”

It wasn’t easy, and Prochazka ate any number of punches and leg kicks, his mobility seemingly compromised. Yet the ex-champ prevailed, earning a TKO finish in the second round then calling for the winner of Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill, who headlined the massive card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Whether he actually gets that fight, or has to compete against someone like Magomed Ankalaev first, remains to be seen.

“It doesn’t matter for me. For me, right now it’s most important to improve myself in the training. And to take this experience from tonight to the next fight, as soon as possible,” said Prochazka during his post-fight press conference appearance. “Because I’m still learning. I’m still learning how to connect my violence and that hunting instinct with the mastery, with the technique, with the present moments to keep it in one.”

That said, Prochazka went on to add that after the fight with Rakic, “I believe I deserve it.”

Scenes of Jiri Prochazka marching forward, hands down, were frequently commented on by the UFC 300 broadcast team. It’s something the light heavyweight also addressed post-fight.

“That was something that was inside me. Every time I have that problem, I have to show to my opponent, you have nothing [for] me. But I’m trying to be more professional, because with guys like Pereira, it’s not good to catch any punches. So that’s why I’m working for head movement, like a flash, like a shadow.”

As for getting back in the win column in a house full of fans at a milestone event like UFC 300, “for me it was not too much about the event, but after my last fight in New York with Pereira, it was for me important to make a spark inside myself,” Prochazka told Cageside Press. “To show to myself that storm, that hunter inside myself. I’m very glad for that. Very glad.”

Watch the full UFC 300 post-fight press conference with Jiri Prochazka above.