Jiri Prochazka explains what being samurai means to him, pre-fight UFC 300 visualization at T-Mobile Arena

Jiri Prochazka may not be an actual samurai, but that’s beside the point for him.

This past Saturday, Prochazka faced Aleksandar Rakic in the featured prelim bout of UFC 300. During the build-up to the fight, Rakic noted that Prochazka is not actually the samurai as he proclaims himself to be, which appeared to anger the former light heavyweight champion a good deal. On fight night, Prochazka took that anger out on Rakic, stopping him with strikes in the second round.

Afterward, Prochazka said he doesn’t bear any ill will towards Rakic and even agreed that he is not actually a samurai. But speaking on The MMA Hour, “BJP” explained that it’s not so much about being any one thing, it’s about his lifestyle.

“For me, to be a samurai, for me it’s about attitude,” Prochazka said. “What you have in your life. About the paradigm in your life. How to see some situation. Sometimes you don’t need to be a samurai, because this attitude, this role, is not effective in every piece of your life. That’s why I’m not just using that for fight, but like I said many times, we all need to follow something. We need to understand our lives — our brain, our minds need to understand our lives and what we’re doing, why we are doing that, by some theory, some ideas. These ideas about bushido moral code help me to be honest to the way that I’m following. That’s all. You have to find something that resonates with you, and samurai ideas resonate with me.

“In the world there are not just samurais, there are other warriors like knights. But everywhere there are some rules, and I respect these rules because they helped me in really dark moments of my life to overcome these moments and be strong, be more human, and live fully. Totally fully, without fears, without trying to be better than someone or trying to be richer than someone. No thinking, because that’s fear. There is no place for these things. … That’s why it helps me to live fully.

“I don’t know what to give to my coach to pay him for these lessons, especially for that book, because that’s something that resonated with me so deeply that I can’t fight or do this show or whatever without speaking about that,” Prochazka continued. “To let the people know about these things, because I think, especially in this age, there are too many people trying to understand their lives, trying to understand why to wake up and find their way. And that gave me meaning in my life.”

“Samurai-gate” was not the only headline Prochazka drew in advance of UFC 300. The former UFC light heavyweight champion also gained attention when a fan spotted him outside the T-Mobile arena a few nights before the event, standing in the same spot and simply looking at the arena. Prochazka was also asked about that scene, and while it’s not quite the same as his thoughts on being a samurai and the bushido code, his answer still invokes some of the same ideas that guide his life.

“I’m doing that every night,” Prochazka said. “If you’re working with visualization, with your higher self, and with the most beautiful idea of your life, the vision, and when you are open to follow that idea, because sometimes it’s not easy, but we do that harder and harder, sometimes, to ourselves. That’s the law of … attraction.

“When I started to do that in my high school when I was 17 years old, these techniques are just about ourselves. About every person on this plane to have focus. Because when you use your ability to do this beautiful work, then you realize there are no limits. Really, there are no limits. Everything you can imagine, that’s something that is connected with you. And when you feel you are on the same wave, that’s beautiful.”

Prochazka’s approach to the sport earned him a number of fans who appreciate his unique blend of traditional martial arts values and pseudo-mysticism. But for Prochazka, it’s not about making fans or presenting a different way of life, it’s about following his own path through this world.

“It seems like it’s unique, but when you really follow your way, your connection with your god, then you will see what’s your way,” Prochazka said. “Then your mind will be more calm, peaceful. Then there is no fear, there is just pure belief and you will follow the way. That’s all.”

Prochazka is now 4-1 in his UFC career, and his win over Rakic puts him right back in the light heavyweight title picture.

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