Jiri Prochazka is excited to fight alongside Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 282.
The Light Heavyweight landscape has gone through some rather dramatic changes since Gustafsson’s rise, beginning in Nov. 2009. Gustafsson is a three-time title challenger for UFC gold with his first two attempts being as close as any in promotional history. In 2022, unfortunately, “The Mauler” rides a four-fight losing streak dating back to May 2017.
On Dec. 10, 2022, Gustafsson returns to face Ovince Saint Preux on the same night the title is defended when Prochazka rematches Glover Teixeira. Despite never crossing paths as opponents, the pair of fan-favorite Light Heavyweights have mutual respect for each other.
“It’s a Light Heavyweight night!” Prochazka excitedly told The AllStar. “I trained with Alex many times in Sweden and he’s a great man, big man, father of a family, amazing sparring partner. He’s not so crazy, he’s really calm, and he knows how to work with his power in the camps. So, I have so much respect for him and I’m a fan of him.
“I just wish him the best and after that I saw that match up with Ovince Saint Preux [was announced] and I said to myself, ‘Man, he’s going to the cage one more time, again and again, after this loss with [Nikita] Krylov,’” he concluded. “For me, as a person, it’s such a big inspiration. Because that shows he still believes. He knows he has it, so I think he’s still a very dangerous man. I have to like him.”
Prochazka’s rematch with Teixeira will be an anticipated one to close out the year. Earning the title in June 2022, Prochazka pulled off a Hail-Mary rear-naked choke submission in the final minute of the five-round war (watch highlights).