Former champion Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) meets Alex Pereira (8-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) for the vacant light heavyweight title in Saturday’s UFC 295 main event at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Prochazka’s three UFC wins have been barnburners. His title win over Pereira’s mentor, Glover Teixeira, in June 2022 was one of the best fights of the year. While Whittaker can see Pereira as a safe bet, he finds it hard to pick against Prochazka.
“This is going to be a gnarly fight,” Whittaker said on his MMArcade Podcast. “Like, it’s crazy for so many different reasons. Obviously Pereira’s got an amazing striking game. We’ve seen it in his fights, and this is his weight division. He’s got the range, he’s got the reach, he’s got the height, so he looks good in this division. But Jiri, he’s so unorthodox. He’s so hard to get a read on, but he’s very hittable. He’s very hittable. I saw him in deep waters when he fought Glover (Teixeira).
“Jiri looked in deep waters with some of those shots he was taking from Glover, but he just never went away. Just never went away and was kind of always like doing his unorthodox type fighting. Obviously Glover was having a tough read of it, but he was landing big shots. But again, regardless, like, Glover looked really, really good and then lost. Jiri has an uncanny ability to find the win in these fights. He looks to be outclassed, but he finds the wins.”
UFC 295 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and early prelims on ESPN+.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.