What’s next for Jiri Prochazka? Based on his wild destruction of Dominick Reyes at the start of May (watch it), many are thinking a title shot against Jan Blachowicz is in the cards. Unfortunately for “Denisa,” there’s someone ahead of him. Glover Teixeira has been waiting since Nov. 2020 for his title shot, which will go down at UFC 266 on Sept 4, 2021.
Without a whole lot of competition to shake things up, Prochazka could very well sit and wait until early 2022 for his turn. And right now that sounds like something he’s happy to do. In a podcast with “Fair Play Thinker,” Jiri revealed that he’s pretty happy being out of the camp cycle and currently looking at serving as backup for UFC 266 just in case anything happens to Blachowicz or Teixeira.
“I don’t know if it’s official yet and if I can even say it publicly,” Prochazka said. “Well, what I can say is there are negotiations about me being a backup fighter for Teixeira vs. Blachowicz. It’s not a done deal. So I will be preparing per usual, keeping myself up with my own training regime.”
But, there’s a huge difference between Jiri on his own training regime and Jiri in full fight camp mode.
“I’ll be doing my own stuff in this phase, which I love,” he said. “And it makes me happy when I can set up my training according to how I feel that morning. I’m free to make it exactly as I want. And then I just get going and love every minute of it. You understand yourself, your body and you arrange the training exactly as you want. If you want to go hard, you go hard. But it’s unlike the strict plan during fight prep where you are required to follow the set plan completely. I don’t like that. When I’m in control of my training it’s just the best for me.”
Compare that to fight camp mode, where Jiri is focused on nothing but the upcoming fight.
“It’s the alpha and omega for me,” he said. “Starting the fight preparation, I cut out all the fun stuff, friends. Put aside everything. All I was doing was training, reading books, learning English. After 8PM I put on red glasses so that I’m sleepy after an hour and a half and I was going to bed at 9:30 p.m.
“Regarding sex life, I cut that out completely too since one month ... no, two months back,” he continued. “Yea, it’s been two months ago since I’ve stopped with all this action. Including self action so to speak. Everything. I’ve suppressed it so much in me in such a way I even started doing special breathing exercises allowing me to feel this energy. And since then my metabolism as become quicker, I’ve lost weight. But I’m also faster and stronger now. It’s been quite brutal before this fight.”
Prochazka is also known for traveling around the world training at various gyms, but at this point it sounds like he enjoys the professional, harmonious situation he has at home in Czech Republic with his Jetsaam Gym Brno team.
Jiri is also fortunate enough to have fought extensively in Europe, Russia and Japan. He spent four years competing for RIZIN FC in Japan, revealing there’s no nerves in UFC after experiencing a Saitama Super Arena show.
“Saitama Super Arena. It’s ... phew, such a massive open space, it makes you feel like you’ve been swallowed up,” he said. “It’s almost like being on a giant spaceship. Imagine that. I was always like ‘What the?!’ And then there’s all these ceremonies around, sparklers, performances, announcements, fireworks, displays and everything. It has this unique unmistakable atmosphere.
“Comparing it with the UFC now... no matter, even if there were crowds,” he concluded. “You just go there focused on the fight. There are no distractions around. Pure fight focus. Nothing can ever throw you off after this experience in Japan.”