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Jiri Prochazka is ‘grateful’ for opportunity to show he’s ‘best of the best’ after relinquishing title

The former light heavyweight champ says he still feels like a champion in his heart and plans to take back the belt and prove he’s the pound-for-pound best.

UFC 275: Teixeira v Prochazka Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The mixed martial arts (MMA) world was stunned last week when it was announced that Jiri Prochazka had injured his shoulder and was out of his UFC 281 title fight against Glover Teixeira next month. Not only would Prochazka not be competing, he had apparently decided to relinquish the 205-pound title, too.

In an initial video statement released on Instagram, Prochazka said he planned on regaining his belt the moment doctors cleared him to fight. And in a new write-up on social media, “BJP” expanded on his thoughts after this unfortunate turn of circumstances.

“Grateful,” he began. “There are no obstacles, just an opportunity to see the same path from a different angle and be stronger and more human.

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UFC’s 2023 PPV DEBUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its New Year pay-per-view (PPV) campaign on Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Glover Teixeira, looking to stop the momentum of surging No. 7-seeded up-and-comer, Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the greatest rivalries in promotional history resumes as Flyweight kingpin, Deiveson Figueiredo, battles interim belt keeper, Brandon Moreno, for a fourth (and likely final) time.

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“Once you accept the path of the Warrior or simply be absolutely honest to yourself, then you know deep inside what is false and what is true, where your Path is,” he continued. “Title? I became the UFC champion 5 months ago and the current situation does not change my inner feeling of being a champion, that is the Feeling and the Reason why I started MMA. To Be the Champion of the Best and to be the best of the best. This is my Infinite Motivation and Spirit-Consciousness and Will to ACT. I can’t move it even if I force it, It’s like Gravity, a law of physics.”

“So, if someone wins the LHW UFC title and proves they are the best NOW while I rest, I will be honored to see that performance and then get ready to show who is the Rightful Champion of this division and MUCH more #1 P4P,” Prochazka continued. “I Thank my fans for their support and trust.

“This is the Beginning, of something Greater,” he concluded. “I love you.”

Prochazka included a series of hashtags at the end including #bushido, #kaizen, #strongest, and #unstoppable. Bushido is well-known — it’s the moral code of the samurai, comprising eight virtues: justice, courage, compassion, respect, integrity, honor, loyalty, and self-control. Kaizen means continuous improvement and change for the better.

To say Prochazka is big into these concepts would be an understatement. The guy has integrated multiple eastern martial philosophies into his daily life and training and believes deeply in them all. Here’s hoping it keeps him strong in the face of his injury and allows him to return with a strong mindset halfway through 2023 to regain his title.

For now, the vacant Light Heavyweight belt will still be up for grabs at UFC 282 on Dec. 10, 2022. Fighting for it will be former 205-pound kingpin, Jan Blachowicz, and dangerous contender, Magomed Ankalaev.

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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