Following his loss to Alex Pereira in November, Jiri Prochazka was determined to get back inside the Octagon as fast as possible, regardless of opponent.
On April 13, ‘Denisa’ will look to climb back into the title picture at 205 when he meets No. 5 ranked contender Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300 in Las Vegas. The fight will come five months removed from Prochazka’s devastating second-round knockout at the hands of ‘Poatan’ at the promotion’s 30th-anniversary event last year in Madison Square Garden.
Speaking with Mike Owens in a LowKick MMA exclusive interview, Prochazka — the division’s No. 2 ranked contender — explained that after coming up short in his last outing, he was eager to climb back in the cage. Rakic just happened to be the fighter who was ready, willing, and able to serve as the former champ’s dance partner on fight night.
“I don’t care about what the right fight is for me,” Prochazka said. “I wanted to be back as soon as possible and Alexander was the first one who was free from the top five guys at light heavyweight. So I called him about the fight.”
Jiri Prochazka Dubs Aleksandar Rakic a ’50/50 Fighter’
Aleksandar Rakic will be looking to bounce back after suffering a leg injury in the third round of his May 2022 clash with Jan Blachowicz. They were scheduled to run it back at UFC 297 last month, but Blachowicz underwent shoulder surgery, forcing him out of the bout.
‘Rocket’ goes into the contest with a 14-3 overall record, 6-2 under the UFC banner. Rakic has established himself as a bit of a knockout artist in his career, finishing nine of his opponents via KO, including Devin Clark and Jimi Manuwa inside the Octagon.
“He’s a 50/50 fighter,” Prochazka said of his UFC 300 opponent. “He’s a good wrestler. A really strong guy I think. His standup is not the best, but like I said, he’s 50/50. Good striker. Good wrestler and I’m ready for both.”
Prochazka’s loss to Alex Pereira snapped a 13-fight win streak dating back to 2016. It was also his first fight in 17 months, but ‘Denisa’ is making no excuses for his performance. Instead, he sees it as another opportunity to evolve his skill set and put his MMA mastery on display in his next outing.
“I want to realize the mastery,” he said. “Not just in the training. Not just in the daily life. Repeat, repeat. Be better. Be better, but in the cage. To show it in the cage. That’s what I want to show.”
Watch the full exclusive interview with Jiri Prochazka below: