Jiri Procházka is fast becoming one of the kookiest athletes on the UFC roster. The light heavyweight contender has been consumed by the Samurai ethos – despite his European roots.
This kind of behavior has made a portion of the UFC fan base refer to him as ”El Cucuy” – a nickname of infamous eccentric Tony Ferguson.
But with the downfall of Ferguson’s career another eccentric is on the rise. Jiri Prochazka is getting his title shot against the 42 year old Glover Teixeira this next weekend in Singapore. The Czech star has been spotted brushing off his sword and practicing odd routines along with his sword.
Procházka previously answered some questions about his eccentric lifestyle:
Q: How much buzz is there in your native Czech Republic for your championship fight?
A: I think it is [exciting] for many people who know what MMA is because there are a lot of people who don’t know, who [are] watching hockey and football. But MMA is still growing. But I think it’s on a good way, and I have good support from Czech Republic. And I’m very glad to be [the] first guy who’s challenging [for] the title in the UFC.
Q: You are a believer in the principles of bushido. How do you apply that to your life?
A: [Bushido] is very simple rules which you can use for everything. It’s about what you believe in, what you love, how you want to speak with other people. It’s about loyalty to, not your team, but loyalty to yourself to live by my truth, what I’m feeling inside. It’s very simple, but these things are [the] strongest.
Q: How did your appreciation for bushido originate?
A: It all started in 2013 when, in our gym, my second coach Jaroslav Hovezak — the first one is Martin Karaivanov — gave me “The Book of the Five Rings.” And there was, like you said, the Bushido moral code, and that was very helpful for me because I was looking for something [that] can give me the base in martial arts, in MMA, because it was just like I’m going to training, and I just want to go hard and give the energy to the training, and that’s all. And that book gave me the idea, the basement of [the] idea, why I love to do these things.
Q: Aleksandar Rakic was dismissive of what he called your “fake samurai” lifestyle. What would you say to critics like him?
A: These people, they just don’t realize so much, I think. It’s just, you have to be a long time [alone] just with yourself to understand these words that I’m saying. If you don’t challenge your fears, and all these things, you can’t understand it. And it’s all about that. I’m understanding that everybody [is] evolving, in some step [of] evolution. Nobody is perfect. That’s why I [don’t want] to judge that.