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Jiri Prochazka suggests Jamahal Hill injury stemmed from weight gain, believes Alex Pereira tougher matchup

Jiri Prochazka was puzzled when he found out Jamahal Hill was injured and planned to vacate the UFC light heavyweight title.

Prochazka has been recovering from a shoulder injury that forced him to vacate the belt in December ahead of a scheduled rematch with Glover Teixeira, a title that Hill won when he defeated Teixeira via unanimous decision at UFC 283 in January. Hill tore his achilles playing in a basketball game during UFC 290 fight week earlier this month, and a potential fight between he and Prochazka was taken off the table.

While playing basketball can certainly cause injury, Prochazka suggests Hill putting on extra weight after winning the title didn’t help.

“My reaction was, ‘What are you doing, man,’” Prochazka said on The MMA Hour. “It doesn’t matter [what the reason was], but everyone I saw he had big weight, he [gained weight], and especially for the ankles and all of these areas like the knees, for the body, it’s a big weight.

“If you turn your weight to more than normal, then the knees and ankles, it’s bad. That was the first logical [thought] about that.”

Prior to the injury, Hill had called out Prochazka on social media for a potential matchup, even suggesting Prochazka was avoiding the fight.

Despite that, when the news came out, Prochazka sent Hill his best for recovery, something that shined a light on the type of athlete he is — it’s all about the fight, not the trash talk beforehand.

At the moment, Prochazka is preparing to face Alex Pereira for the vacant title in his return bout.

“Everybody in this game is trying to be gangsters, and it [becomes] getting in the cage with somebody, and [putting on the] best performance you can do,” Prochazka said. “It’s not about the speaking before, this is sometimes — not stupid — but sometimes, it’s trash.

“I was prepared for the style like Jamahal, and I like that. I like his style; it was very simple, power for every punch, but [Pereira] has similar style, but more upgraded. There’s more logic in [Pereira’s] style.”

When asked who is the tougher matchup between Pereira and Hill, Prochazka had positive things to say about both, but he ultimately leaned toward the former middleweight champion, who likely earned his shot with a UFC 291 win over Jan Blachowicz.

“Both of them are strong opponents, both are [standup fighters], and right now, for me, Pereira [is tougher],” Prochazka explained. “I’m taking Pereira, [he] is the [better] opponent.”

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