Jiri Prochazka vs. Dominick Reyes at UFC Vegas 25 was a real barnburner of a fight that ended with a KO of the Year candidate — Prochazka hitting Reyes with a big elbow, and then an even bigger spinning back elbow that left Reyes unconscious on the canvas.
Leading up to this bout, UFC president Dana White said the winner of Reyes vs. Prochazka would earn a light heavyweight title fight, and Prochazka reacted with humble humor when commentator Paul Felder brought it up during the post-fight interview.
“Okay. I’m ready. Let’s do that,” Prochazka said. “I like my ‘neighbor’ Blachowicz but okay. But there is now a fight with Glover Teixiera vs. Blachowicz, yeah? So winner will be ... my next opponent? Woah. That will be big honor for me.”
At the post-fight press conference, Jiri broke down the finish of the fight.
“That was just the flow,” he said. “Just the flow. It’s come ... that’s why I have this antenna [hair], to catch these ideas. ... It’s a great feeling. Dominick was a great opponent. A great opponent and a nice, nice guy, like a person. After the fight and before the fight I felt from him ... just nothing. No hate, just pure fighting, that’s what it is. That’s what I like.”
Prochazka seemed happy with the win but still determined to improve. Reyes managed to counter him effectively and had Jiri on wobbly legs at one point.
“My defense. In the first fight, there wasn’t,” he said, struggling with his English. “There’s not so much defense in this fight, but it’s how it worked. I still got to fix some things.”
“For me it’s not these title shots and fighting and matchmaking. It’s not so important for me. It’s important the journey, to enjoy the tough opponents. Enjoy to share the cage with hard opponents. And that’s what I’m about and that’s what I like. And this fight was great, yeah. I enjoy that. I enjoyed Dominick’s fight IQ. I have new skills, new things what I need to learn, what I need to work on.”
With only two wins in the UFC, Prochazka seemed a bit stunned to be on the verge of a title fight, but he’ll take it.
“Yes, I think I deserve that fight,” he said. “But because my journey in the UFC is so quick, and I’m not enjoying that so much like I want. But I think yeah, I deserve that title fight. Yeah.”