Wednesday, the build-up to the Donald Cerrone vs. Conor McGregor fight in UFC 246’s main event took a back seat to a new signing by the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion as light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1) joined the UFC.
ESPN reported the move by Prochazka to the UFC early Wednesday evening, hours after Ultimate Fighting Championship officials signed the veteran of the RIZIN Fighting Federation to an exclusive pact.
Most recently, Prochazka defeated CB Dollaway by first-round knockout (left hook) on Dec. 31 in RIZIN 20 on FITE TV, the second half of the Bellator MMA/ RIZIN crossover weekend in Japan.
Prochazka’s career thus far
Jiri Prochazka’s mixed martial arts career began in the spring of 2012, when he was part of the Gladiator Championship Fighting promotion in his native Czech Republic, defeating Stanislav Futera on Apr. 7 of that year, later parlaying that with a victory against Vladimir Els that August.
He then ran his record to 4-0 with victories in GCF 17 against Martin Vanis in October of 2012 and Starhinja Denic a month later.
In December of 2012, Prochazka suffered his first career defeat in Serbia against Bojan Velickovic, before returning to his winning ways vs. Jozef Zak in Gladiator Championship Fighting in February of 2013.
After a victory against Radovan Estocin that May, the then 5-1 Prochazka appeared in Fight Nights Global 16, losing by submission against Abdul-Kerim Edilov (first-round rear-naked choke), before appearing in Rock the Cage 4 vs. Oliver Dohring, winning by knockout.
In 2015, with his record then standing at 14-2-1, Prochazka debuted in RIZIN in the co-main event of the Dec. 29 and 31, 2015 RIZIN Grand Prix, stopping Satoshi Ishii (second-round knockout).
He’d return on Dec. 31, 2015 to defeat Vadim Nemkov (retirement from the fight), before losing to Muhammad Lawal (knockout) the same night, his last loss to date.
In the spring of 2016, Prochazka scored a first-round knockout against Kazuyuki Fujita for the first of his current 10-fight winning streak.
No date, venue, or opponent has been announced for Jiri Prochazka’s first UFC fight, but we’ll keep you posted with details on that as they come in.
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