Jiri Prochazka hit Glover Teixeira with all the pieces he had — onerous jabs, uppercuts, knees up the center and mixtures to the physique.
Teixeira gave all of it again after which some. He landed big overhand rights and left hooks, took Prochazka down and opened up a gnarly minimize with an elbow.
Each males took a profession’s value of punishment in probably the most grueling, back-and-forth fights in MMA historical past. In the long run, someway, Prochazka grabbed on to an orthodox rear-naked choke within the remaining seconds and completed Teixeira through submission at 4:32 of the fifth and remaining spherical Saturday in the principle occasion of UFC 275 in Singapore.
With the victory, Prochazka grew to become the UFC gentle heavyweight champion. It was his first submission victory in UFC and first total since 2014. It was Teixeira’s first profession submission loss.
“It was a real conflict,” Prochazka stated. “Glover is a real warrior. And I like that.”
Coming into the struggle, ESPN had Teixeira ranked No. 8 on its checklist of the most effective pound-for-pound MMA fighters on the planet. Teixeira was ranked No. 1 and Prochazka was No. 4 at gentle heavyweight.
Prochazka’s submission was the second-latest end in UFC championship historical past, behind Demetrious Johnson’s 2015 armbar victory over Kyoji Horiguchi with only one second left within the struggle. Prochazka is the primary male fighter to win an undisputed UFC title inside his first three fights since Brock Lesnar in 2008, based on ESPN Stats & Data.
Had Teixeira held on till the ultimate bell, he would have gained or the end result would have been a cut up draw with Teixeira retaining the title. Choose Michael Bell had it 38-38 going into the fifth spherical, choose Ben Cartlidge had Teixeira up 39-37, and Clemens Warner had Teixeira forward 38-37.
“I gave my all,” Teixeira stated. “Reside by the sword, die by the sword.”
It definitely was not a straightforward struggle to evaluate, with extra twists and turns than an M. Evening Shyamalan film.
Teixeira appeared early like he would run over Prochazka along with his superior wrestling and grappling. Teixeira took Prochazka down a number of occasions within the first spherical, obtained into mount and landed onerous photographs from the highest place. Prochazka, although, was capable of shuck Teixeira off his again close to the tip of the spherical and land onerous ground-and-pound exchanges on the canvas.
Prochazka took that momentum into the second spherical and landed some huge punches, a knee and ground-and-pound with Teixeira on the mat. However again on the ft, Teixeira caught Prochazka pressuring ahead wildly with a left hook that dropped him. Teixeira ended up mounting Prochazka once more and touchdown an elbow that opened up an enormous minimize over Prochazka’s left eye.
Within the third, Prochazka as soon as once more dominated the opening minutes along with his artistic hanging, touchdown left arms, knees and onerous photographs to the physique. Prochazka obtained Teixeira down and was touchdown onerous punches from the highest however then went for an ill-advised arm-triangle choke, which Teixeira countered to get on prime. From there, Teixeira went on the offensive, touchdown punches.
“He was hitting me with physique photographs that took my fuel away,” Teixeira stated. “I used to be gassed out, to be trustworthy.”
Teixeira damage Prochazka with a left hook within the fourth spherical after which took him down once more. He landed photographs from the highest and labored for an arm-triangle choke however couldn’t get it. Prochazka managed to roll out as Teixeira handed to the aspect in an try to finish the choke. At that time, each males’s faces had been lined in blood. Prochazka landed some punches from the highest, however Teixeira someway swept and took Prochazka’s again earlier than the tip of the spherical.
Within the fifth, Teixeira, although drained, got here out firing. He blasted Prochazka with an overhand proper into a mix. After which he made his personal strategic error, going for a guillotine choke. Prochazka slid out of it and ended up on prime. Again on the ft, each males landed onerous photographs, with Teixeira getting the higher of issues. Teixeira obtained Prochazka on his again once more and took mount with about 1:51 left within the struggle.
Teixeira landed a tough elbow from mount, however Prochazka used his legs to kick off the cage and escape the place. Prochazka ended up on the aspect of Teixeira’s again with Teixeira on all fours. From there, Prochazka introduced his arms up right into a rear-naked choke round Teixeira’s neck. Teixeira tried to flee by diving ahead however ended up tapping out. Prochazka by no means even obtained his legs round Teixeira — in grappling phrases, he by no means obtained his hooks in — in the course of the opportune, unorthodox choke.
“I am prepared to finish it first or fifth spherical, does not matter,” Prochazka stated. “Does not matter which method. … That got here naturally. I simply watched the second, what alternative is earlier than me.”
Prochazka (29-3-1) has gained 13 straight, together with his first three in UFC. The Czech Republic native has completed 11 in a row.
The 29-year-old Prochazka was coming off a second-round spinning again elbow knockout of Dominick Reyes in Could 2021, a knockout of the yr contender. “Denisa” is the previous gentle heavyweight champion of Japan’s Rizin Combating Federation promotion.
Teixeira (33-8) grew to become the oldest first-time champion in UFC historical past when he beat Jan Blachowicz for the title at UFC 267 in October. The Brazil native was the second-oldest UFC champion ever, behind Randy Couture. Teixeira, 42, had a six-fight profitable streak snapped Saturday. He had mentioned retirement earlier this yr however vowed to proceed preventing afterward.
“Do I look 42 on the market?” Teixeira stated within the Octagon afterward. “Then, I am gonna hold going.”