Jiří Procházka injured, vacates belt, now Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev on for light heavyweight strap
What a wild time to be an MMA fan.
On Wednesday afternoon, Kevin Iole broke the news that due to an injury to Jiří Procházka, he was out of his scheduled fight against former champion Glover Teixeira and had vacated his title. Also in the shocking tweet was the news that Teixeira would be declining the title fight so Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev was being promoted to the headliner and the title would be on the line.
According to Prochazka’s manager, Tim Simpson, Prochazka injured his “right shoulder while wrestling” Iole reported.
According to an official UFC statement, “UFC lightweight champion Jiří Procházka has suffered a shoulder injury that will require a significant rehabilitation period. Out of respect to the athletes and the division, Procházka has elected to vacate his title and will compete for the belt as soon as he is medically cleared. As a result, the new UFC 282 main event will see former champion and No, 2 ranked Jan Blachowicz take on surging No. 3 ranked Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant, undisputed UFC light heavyweight championship.”
According to Dana White, who spoke with Iole, “This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history,” White told Yahoo Sports. “It’s really f***ing bad. His shoulder is very, very bad. He’s going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab.”
Shortly after the news broke Procházka shared his own statement:
“I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be defending my belt at @ufc 282,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was injured in training in Las Vegas while finishing my preparation for my title defense in the UFC’s lightheavyweight division. I injured my shoulder and surgery is required which will put me out of action for at least 6 months. Knowing this information, I have decided, after consulting with UFC management, that due to this time constraint, I will not hold lightheavyweight division and will vacate the title. I will go for the UFC belt as soon as the doctors give me the green light to fight. I’m going to go for the belt and I’m going to get it no matter who currently holds it. It’s always been the most important thing for me to put on the best performance and compare myself to the best. Let the best show no matter who’s there now. I’ll be back in six months and I’ll take the title whoever holds it. I apologize to my fans, friends, family who bought tickets and made plans to come to Las Vegas to support me, it means a lot to me. I also want to apologize to Glover. Victory!”