Jiri Prochazka is excited to fight alongside Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 282.
The light heavyweight landscape has seen some pretty dramatic changes since Gustafsson’s rise to power, beginning in November 2009. Gustafsson is a three-time challenger for UFC gold, with his first two attempts coming as close as any another in promotional history. In 2022, unfortunately, “The Mauler” is riding a four-fight losing streak dating back to May 2017.
On December 10, 2022, Gustafsson returned to face Ovince Saint Preux on the same night the title was defended when Prochazka faced Glover Teixeira. Although they have never crossed paths as opponents, the two fan-favorite light heavyweights respect each other.
“It’s a light heavyweight night!” Prochazka excitedly told The AllStar. “I’ve trained with Alex several times in Sweden and he’s a great man, a great man, a family man, an amazing training partner. He’s not that crazy, he’s really calm and he knows working with his power in the camps. So I have so much respect for him and I’m a fan of him.
“I just wish him the best and after that I saw that game with Ovince Saint Preux [was announced] and I was like, ‘Man, he’s going in the cage again, again and again, after that loss with [Nikita] Krylov,” he concluded. “For me, as a person, it’s such a big inspiration. Because it shows that he still believes in it. He knows he has it, so I think he’s still a very dangerous man. I have to like it.
Prochazka’s rematch with Teixeira will be expected to close out the year. Winning the title in June 2022, Prochazka landed a bare-back Hail-Mary choke submission in the final minute of the five-round war (see Highlights).
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