Light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled title defense against Glover Teixeira at UFC 282. This is due to a serious shoulder injury, according to UFC President Dana White. He also called the setback the worst shoulder injury doctors working for the organization have ever seen.
Originally slated to headline UFC 282 later this month in a championship rematch versus Teixeira, Prochazka has now been forced to withdraw from the contest. He also chose to formally vacate the light heavyweight title.
UFC 282 is now set to feature Jan Blachowicz against Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Jiri Prochazka will need to spend more than a year recovering from his shoulder injury. Dana White spoke to Yahoo! Sports:.
“This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history,” Dana White told Yahoo! Sports
“It’s really f*cking bad. His (Jiri Prochazka) shoulder is very, very bad. He’s going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab.”
“We met with Jiri last night and listen, this guy is one of the classiest humans of all-time. 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 Magomed 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 (Jan) 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.”
White is spinning once again – with his take on Teixeira. Teixeira asked for more time to prep for a very different challenger. Magomed Ankalaev is known for his wrestling and has a vastly different strategy than often whacky striker, Jiri Prochazka.
Teixeira also wanted to face former champion Jan Blachowicz – but UFC was reluctant due to their age.
Teixeira is 43 years old, Blachowicz is 39 – and Ankalaev is just 30. A big gap, especially at that age.
Ariel Helwani best summarized the situation in a video:
“Basically around a week ago in Las Vegas, Prochazka seriously injured his shoulder. He tried to fight through it, said that he would fight with one arm.”
“Was told essentially by doctors that he could damage his shoulder forever if he fought with this injury. It’s going to need surgery. He’s going to be out for at least a year. Couple that with the six months that he’s been out since the last fight. That’s 18 months. There was some talk of interim. Ultimately, UFC felt like they had to move on and do a vacant title.”
“Well, very recently today they reached out to Glover Teixeira and they offered him a vacant title fight on December 10th against Magomed Ankalaev. Glover Considering how long he’s been in the game, I actually just spoke to him. Felt like he didn’t have enough time to prepare for Ankalaev, who’s a completely different opponent. He said, Why not me versus Jan on December 10th?”
“UFC said, No, we’ve seen this already. Jan is up there in age. We want to go with Ankalaev versus you. He said, All right, let’s do me versus Ankalaev in Brazil. And in in late January they said, No, we need the title fight for this card. Of course, it’s the only one. It’s you versus Ankalaev or we’re moving on.”
“He said, I can’t take this fight on such short notice. I need more time to prepare for him. So they’re going with Ankalaev versus Jan as a vacant title fight on December 10th a year. He obviously out for quite some time. Glover hoping that he’ll fight the winner. No guarantee as of that just yet. He’s very upset. He’s frustrated.”