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Jiri Prochazka rips ‘horrible performance’ against Glover Teixeira at UFC 275

The rest of the world might think of Jiri Prochazka’s UFC 275 win as a “Fight of the Year,” but he considers it a cautionary tale that must be addressed.

The fact that Prochazka is now the UFC light heavyweight champion after submitting Glover Teixeira in the final round of Saturday’s main event is no consolation for a performance that was much more difficult that it needed to be.

“It was, from my side, it was a horrible fight, a horrible performance,” Prochazka said at the UFC 275 post-fight press conference in Singapore. “Honestly. You saw that fight. In some moments, I just survived.

“My plan, not plan – f***... not plan. My life’s plan is to be dominant in the fight and not just be a survivor. To be a hunter, and that will be my next fight, and I will show that. I don’t want to fight like that. It’s tough, it’s full of blood, and it’s not beautiful – maybe it’s beautiful for you, you like to be entertained. But for a fighter, I like to fight clean.”

Momentum shifted so many times in the bloody fight that it at many points it was hard to tell who was winning. What wasn’t hard to figure out was how close Prochazka was to losing. Several well-timed punches had him on roller skates in the championship rounds, and were it not for the sudden urge to grapple, Teixeira might have ended the fight.

That’s the unforgivable part for the new champ.

“I had to give 100 percent,” he said. “Maybe I’m glad for that. That fight was tough, and it was not easy.”

Part of Prochazka’s strategy was playing mind games with Teixeira, who in the eyes of many observers had the best chance to win by winning takedowns and pounding on the challenger from up top.

During one particular stretch, Teixeira had him mounted and was pounding away with punches. He teased the champ in response.

“Very nice, very nice, but still nothing,” he said of his reaction to Teixeira’s shots. “I wanted to show him his ground-and-pound, he had no power to end me in there. But he had the power enough to open me, and that was very bad and it was right after to smile at him.”

The opening was a cut that sliced deeply into Prochazka’s brow and bled generously throughout the fight.

“I said to myself, ‘OK it’s not time for fun any more,’” he said.

Prochazka knew the strengths Teixeira brought to the table, and afterward shook his head that that wasn’t enough.

“We knew all these things, what he had to do, and he was successful in that,” he said. “F***. So I have to work on that, not just work on the training but working on myself to stop doing things that are not good in a fight. Just do the things that are effective to defeat the opponent. I think that was the big mistake.”

It’s one mistake Prochazka aims to fix when he returns to the octagon. A rematch with Teixeira might loom, as may a meeting with ex-champ Jan Blachowicz, who confronted him after his win. He is fine with any opponent – the important thing is that he’s a little smarter when he defends the belt.

As exciting as he is shooting from the hip, Prochazka doesn’t want to leave the octagon so busted up.

“Doesn’t matter if it will be Glover or Jan, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “For the next fight, I swear I will be another fighter. Not like that. That was not a good performance for me.