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Jiri Prochazka targets summer return against Jamahal Hill: ‘I’m sharpening my weapons’

In a new interview, the former Light Heavyweight champion shared his thoughts on Hill vs. Teixeira at UFC 283 and his timeline for a return.

UFC 275 Weigh-in Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Jamahal Hill defeated Glover Teixeira via a bloody dominating decision at UFC 283 this past weekend (Sat., Jan. 21, 2023) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (watch highlights), claiming the Light Heavyweight title recently vacated by Jiri Prochazka.

Prochazka has been in the forests of the Czech Republic recovering from a bad shoulder injury, but he took the time to hop on social media to film a short clip to declare he was coming for his 205-pound belt. Now, in a new interview with The MMA Hour, Prochazka opened up on what he thought of Hill vs. Teixeira, and when he will be ready to come for his belt.

“I was not surprised ... but I was a little bit surprised by Glover Teixeira’s performance,” Prochazka said. “How his energy and his speed, he was so slow. A little bit slow. And ... amazing work from Jamahal. Amazing work from him because he did everything right, so congratulations to him and I’m looking forward for [fighting] him.”

Prochazka and Teixeira engaged in what many believed was 2022’s “Fight of the Year” back in June 2022, and an immediate rematch was set to go down before a teammate “ripped the s—” out of Prochazka’s shoulder trying to pop it back into the socket after a dislocation. Teixeira had been winning their first fight before Prochazka managed to snatch a rear-naked choke submission win in the final 30 seconds of the fight.

“I thought about [Glover], he had a big chance to win,” Prochazka said. “Especially in Rio with the home crowd and everything works in this event for him. So ... I’m a little bit surprised by that, but that’s good step for the light heavyweight [division] and I’m happy for that result because Jamahal Hill is a young guy, he’s ... how do you say? Dangerous. And I like to see before me somebody like him who is the challenge, challenge me.”

Asked if anything about Hill surprised him, Prochazka said, “No” ... and even threw a little shade.

“From him, nothing,” he said. “Maybe that he had not so much ... he spoke about his power. His power of punches, and all these things. When he catch Glover it will be over and all these things. So Glover showed everybody that Jamahal, he hasn’t have so big power in the punches. Not like Johnny Walker, he showed amazing power. But that’s maybe the one and last thing. But more than Jamahal Hill, Glover surprised me. Because it looked like it was not his night.”

As for the shoulder injury, Prochazka had good news to report.

“Everything is going on the great way,” he said. “Next week I’m going to Las Vegas to continue the rehabilitation and all these processes to be quick and as fast back as possible. I don’t want to be so fast for the shoulder, but it’s getting much better than everyone expects, so that’s why I’m happy for that.

“I think I can be back in July, August, something like that,” he added. “Six, seven months, something like that. Because I don’t want to be fastest way back just to fight. I know this is not the great best attitude. I want to be sure that my body works for two hundred percent. And I think it can be in summer this year. And ... just let me work on that and I will be back as soon as possible.”

As for whether he hopes Hill waits until he’s ready to return, Prochazka admitted it’d be nice, but he wouldn’t want to hold the division up.

“I don’t know if he wants to wait for me until the summer. If he wants, it will be the best because I’m sharping my weapons for him,” he said. “If he will wants to fight in some near future, it doesn’t matter for me. Like I said, I want to see the light heavyweight division, is moving. Because there is good guys, and I see Jamahal Hill wins right now [as a] great move. And I’m happy for that and I’m looking forward to that.”

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 283: “Teixeira vs. Hill” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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