UFC superstar Jiri Prochazka has opened up about the lesson he learned from confronting his demons.
The reigning light heavyweight champion is set to take on former champion Glover Teixeira in the headlining bout of UFC 282 on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. He became the first Czech UFC title holder after defeating Teixeira in Jun. at UFC 275. Teixeira was on his way to getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards when Prochazka locked in a rear-naked choke to submit his opponent with less than 30 seconds remaining in the bout.
Although Prochazka had indicated he would face former 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz in his first title defense, he chose to rematch Teixeira to avenge what he considered the worst performance of his career.
Last month, ‘BJP’ revealed that he went three days in the dark without any food to strengthen his mind. The intense method of sensory deprivation is not new. There are other figures in the sport who promote the practice. However, Prochazka took things to the next level by temporarily removing the concept of time as opposed to generally spending an hour without any stimuli.
In an interview with The Schmo, Prochazka shared what he learned for his nearing title rematch after facing his demons.
“Be stronger,” said Prochazka. “Now, I am and know what to do to end it quickly and faster. For me, it doesn’t matter, like I said last time if it goes till the fifth round or wherever. I am ready for everything and I will.”
Ahead of the nearing fight, Prochazka has been training at the renowned MMA gym, Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Top-ranked light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev, who faces Blachowicz in a likely top contender bout on the same card next month, is also at the training facility to prepare for his match.
Prochazka discussed the experience of training with a potential opponent at the same gym.
“Yeah, it is a little bit weird but my management, he confirmed that he doesn’t care about me training here. Me too, I’m the same so I’m looking just for my sparring partners and for my guys on the mat. I’m leaving him to do his work because we are both in preparation for our fight.
“When we go to fight each other, I think we will not train on the same mat so for now, it’s good.”
Prochazka and former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya share the same management under Paradigm Sports. ‘The Czech Samurai’ talked about Adesanya’s loss to longtime foe and new 185-pound king Alex Pereira at UFC 281 and backed him to reclaim the title he lost this past weekend.
“I expect everything because they both are high-level guys. I know Adesanya personally and I was favoring him but bad happened in the fifth round. He broke his leg a little bit and that’s what happened. I think he can be the champion again because I’ve never seen such precise work like his over all the four rounds with Pereira. That was amazing. Everybody can say everything but that was amazing work.”
“Yeah, for sure I’m for (Adesanya winning the title back in a rematch). But you have to still go till the end like in my last fight, that was what won my fight. I had to go till the last second. This year, 2022, there were three title fights that ended in the fifth round. So, you have to go till the end.”