Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight knockout artists Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka will clash TONIGHT (Sat., June 11, 2022) at UFC 275 inside Singapore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapore.
At 42 years of age, Teixeira is the undisputed 205-pound king, a rank earned without controversy or shortcut. His first title defense is a heck of a challenge, however, an aggressive young fighter who seems poised to take over the mantle of champion. If Teixeira can overcome the odds and turn away the ex-Rizin champ, it’ll be another incredible chapter in the storybook ending of his professional career. None of this is to say that Prochazka should be expecting an easy fight, however. “BJP” is all-aggression, all the time, which is very possibly a recipe to winding up beneath “Hands of Stone” and his crushing Brazilian jiu-jitsu game.
Anything can happen in tonight’s main event, so let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Jan Blachowicz (UFC 267), Thiago Santos (UFC Vegas 13), Anthony Smith (UFC Jacksonville), Ryan Bader (UFC 160), Quinton Jackson (UFC on FOX 6), Misha Cirkunov (UFC on FOX 26), Ion Cutelaba (UFC Fight Night 150), Nikita Krylov (UFC Fight Night 158)
Key Losses: Jon Jones (UFC 172), Alexander Gustafsson (UFC Fight Night 109), Anthony Johnson (UFC 202), Corey Anderson (UFC Fight Night 134)
Keys to Victory: Old school veterans don’t come much tougher than Teixeira. Though his title win itself was a relatively clean display of power punching and crushing jiu-jitsu — two Teixeira trademarks — his rise to the belt was marked by his ability to survive bad moments and turn them into grappling offense.
I won’t say it’s entirely impossible for Teixeira to win this fight on the feet. After all, he does hit hard, and Prochazka is a habitual risk-taker. However, the odds are not at all on his side, because Prochazka is so much longer, younger and faster.
No, the takedown is the far more likely path to victory for the Brazilian. Right away, trying to jam Prochazka into the fence and wrestle is worth attempting. In the seemingly likely event that the takedown doesn’t come quite so easily, Teixeira will need to earn his opponent’s respect with his hands.
I think he can do so more safely from the back foot. If Teixiera comes forward swinging and leaning forward, he’s probably going to get lamped by a Prochazka counter. However, hanging back and trying to time Prochazka with a few shots may be more realistic, which will then set up Teixeira’s reactive level change to the high crotch.
Key Wins: Dominick Reyes (UFC Vegas 25), Volkan Oezdemir (UFC 251), Vadim Nemkov (Rizin World Grand Prix 2015), CB Dollaway (Rizin 20), Muhammad Lawal (Rizin 15)
Key Losses: Muhammad Lawal (Rizin World Grand Prix 2015)
Keys to Victory: Prochazka is one of the finest offense-first fighters on the planet. “BJP” fights with absolute confidence in his timing, chin and power, fully trusting himself to make the right reads and clips his opponent before he gets blasted himself.
All but one of his wins come via stoppage.
Speed and unpredictability are two of Prochazka’s greatest weapons, and that applies doubly so here versus an experienced older fighter. At distance, Prochazka should be feinting and false starting frequently while moving his feet, giving Teixeira a lot to think about and making it difficult for the older man to line up power punches/the takedown.
At range, Prochazka should start looking to sting Teixeira with quick shots, like his jab and snap kick. Those aren’t typically knockout shots, but when “The Czech Samurai” throws them, they definitely hurt. Prochazka may often fight like a brawler, but he also very much understands how to stick and move — time to apply those skills!
As Prochazka lands, it’ll put Teixeira in a position where he must start responding and opening up. That’s where the speed advantage can prove fatal, as Prochazka can touch his opponent, pull away, then land something devastating as Teixeira reaches for him.
The uppercut is a proven weapon versus the Brazilian for just that opening.
The Light Heavyweight belt is on the line!
Win or lose, capturing the title at his age is already an incredible accomplishment for Teixeira, one that ranks him highly in the sport’s history of great late-career rallies. Actually defending that title would be nearly as remarkable a feat, particularly against the ultra dangerous “BJP.” Teixeira has already earned his spot in the Hall of Fame, but defending that title even once against a truly elite contender separates him from other unlikely champions.
As for Prochazka, the 29-year-old knockout artist has been building toward this moment for a decade already. He’s in his prime, on one heck of a roll, and faces a fairly vulnerable champion. The time to capture the belt is right now, because it’s only likely to grow more difficult from here.
At UFC 275, Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira will battle over the 205-pound belt. Which man leaves the cage strapped with gold?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 275 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 balance on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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