UFC light heavyweight contender Jiri Prochazka hasn’t received official confirmation he’s next in line for a title shot, but he’s willing to wait until he gets it.
If Teixeira chooses to wait until spring to defend the title, Prochazka said it will only give him more time to prepare.
“The first step, in my opinion, is I need to keep my word when I stepped into the UFC,” Prochazka said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “I want to go to the title in the shortest way that I can. So that’s my first target.”
Prochazka served as a backup fighter and successfully weighed in for this past Saturday’s title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, which ended in the 42-year-old Teixeira capturing the belt in the second round. To date, Prochazka said the UFC’s direction has been to hold on for a title fight.
That stance has rubbed other title contenders the wrong way – namely Serbian light heavyweight Aleksandar Rakic, who on Wednesday took to Twitter to accuse Prochazka of turning down an offer two days ago to face him in a title eliminator. Not only that, but Rakic added, “the time will come when I cut that ugly Czech flag sh*t off his head.”
If he's getting the title shot why did the UFC offer me two days ago to fight him for a #1 contender fight?— Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) November 3, 2021
“I’m a little bit disappointed from that, because my coach, he showed me that tweet before, and that’s, man, this is so disrespectful,” Prochazka responded. “That’s bad. And the information, that the UFC offered him that fight, that’s not true. That’s not true. I have it from my guys, from my manager, who’s speaking with the UFC, and they said that’s not true what he wrote.
“That’s showing he’s just a liar, and in that second thing with the flag, man, for me, I’m good with that, because that’s not an attack on me. He’s showing he’s not a warrior – he’s just trash. He’s so disrespectful, and I have no words for him. And in any case, his flag, the [Austrian] flag, has the same colors as our flag. It’s just showing that he’s trash.”
If the UFC tells Prochazka that Teixeira won’t be fighting for “a long time” or otherwise moves in a different direction for the next title challenger, Prochazka said he’ll revisit a fight with Rakic. But for the now, a line has been drawn in the sand.
“But you have to understand he’s not a challenge for me, and from this moment, I’m not watching or listening to his words, because he’s a lair and he’s talking sh*t, and that’s not a warrior,” Prochazka said. “I want to fight with the true warriors. This is just trash, and I’m so disappointed for that.”
As for the opponent that by all accounts he’s in line to face, Prochazka said he didn’t care that Blachowicz was upset, denying an all-Europe showdown for the belt. The result just started another chapter on his mission to get the title.
If there was one thing he learned as a backup fighter in the desert, it was that Teixeira is not to be underestimated. Blachowicz, he said, fell into that trap.
“I was a little bit surprised, because everybody had a favorite, Jan, and I saw him, his last fights, and he looks like he’s more than 100 percent better,” Prochazka said. “When me and my team saw Glover’s focus on Yas Island in the hotel, we started talking about something new in Glover’s [mentality], and that was the reason why he won, I think. He wanted that title 100 percent, and Jan, I think Jan was a little bit, not disrespectful, but I don’t think he took that fight that seriously. That’s just my opinion. Jan he spoke about fighting him and me, and that was a little bit disrespectful for Glover. You need to be ready in the first step what is before you.
“He didn’t do some technique wrong. It was his mind that was a little bit bad, because if you don’t want to defend that 100 percent, if you don’t want to win 100 percent, that’s the bad side. That’s my question to myself before every fight, if I really, really, for the truth in myself, if I want to win the fight. That must be the first question answered, and [the answer] must be yes.”