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Chaos! Injured Jiri Prochazka vacates 205-pound title, Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev now headlines UFC 282

UFC 282 Media Day Face Off Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

The final Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) of 2022 has taken the biggest hit imaginable.

Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole confirmed today (Weds., Nov. 23, 2022) that UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jiri Prochazka, has been injured out of his upcoming title fight rematch with Glover Teixeira at UFC 282 on Dec. 10, 2022. Additionally, Prochazka has vacated the title because of the accident. Teixeira reportedly turned down a replacement fight, leading to Jan Blachowicz versus Magomed Ankalaev getting promoted to UFC 282’s new main event.

The extent of Prochazka’s injury is believed to be to his right shoulder, taking place while wrestling, per Prochazka’s manager, Tim Simpson. Surgery will be required, leaving “Denisa” sidelined for upward of a year.

LIVE! Watch UFC 295 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

TWO TITLES UP FOR GRABS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sat., Nov. 11, 2023, with a re-worked pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the ESPN+-streamed main event, former 205-pound roost-ruler, Jiri Prochazka, will lock horns with ex-Middleweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, for the promotion’s vacant Light Heavyweight title. In UFC 295’s co-main event, top-ranked Heavyweight contenders, Sergei Pavlovich (No. 2) and Tom Aspinall (No. 4), will collide for the interim strap after division champion, Jon Jones, was injured with a torn pectoral muscle and forced to withdraw (video).

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UPDATE: UFC has confirmed the news and notes that Prochazka will fight for the title upon his eventual return once cleared to compete again. Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev will also now be for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.

“This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history,” UFC President, Dana White, told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s really f—king bad. His shoulder is very, very bad. He’s going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab.”

Prochazka won the title in June 2022 in epic fashion, scoring a last-minute comeback rear-naked choke submission against the aforementioned Teixeira (watch highlights). The Czech Republic native was on his way to losing the back-and-forth bout, but continued his history of finishes, locking up a candidate for 2022’s Fight of the Year.

UPDATE: Further commenting to Yahoo! Sports, White touched on Prochazka and Teixeira’s sides of the news; “We met with Jiri last night and listen, this guy is one of the classiest humans of all-time,” White said. “He is such a warrior and was so bummed out. He brought up stepping aside to us before we ever got there. He’s going to be out a long time and at some point, we would probably have had to strip him. But he brought it up to us and said out of respect for the other fighters, he didn’t want to hold up the division. Let me tell you, that kid’s a stud, man, to react like that.

“We offered Glover the fight [against Ankalaev]. For some reason, he didn’t want the fight, so we had to move on. If we couldn’t have the rematch, getting Ankalaev, who has the second-longest winning streak in light heavyweight history, and Blachowicz, who is the former champion, is really fortunate. It all fell into place for us as it often seems to do. But that’s a great fight, too, and now it’s for the full title.”

Ariel Helwani has since shared that Teixeira countered the offer with moving the fight to UFC 283 on Jan. 21, 2023, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, because the short-notice change-up was too soon. Obviously, UFC needed to keep a title fight on UFC 282 as the Light Heavyweight strap was the only one set to be contested.

UFC 282’s new line up can be seen here:

  • 205 lbs.: (C) - Jan Błachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev
  • 155 lbs.: Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
  • 170 lbs.: Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • 145 lbs.: Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria
  • 135 lbs.: Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Jay Perrin
  • 185 lbs.: Darren Till vs. Dricus du Plessis
  • 265 lbs.: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
  • 185 lbs.: Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
  • 145 lbs.: Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
  • 185 lbs.: Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley
  • 145 lbs.: T.J. Brown vs. Erik Silva
  • 135 lbs.: Ronnie Lawrence vs. Cameron Saaiman
  • 125 lbs.: Vinicius Salvador vs. Daniel da Silva


Who wins the new vacant title fight?

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Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 282 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPN2/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 282: “Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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