Jiri Prochazka from UFC 282, vacates title; Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz fight for vacant title

Jiri Prochazka’s rematch with Glover Teixeira will not take place at UFC 282 after Prochazka suffered “a shoulder injury that will require a significant rehabilitation period,” the UFC announced Wednesday following an initial report from Yahoo! Sport.

As a result of the scratch, Prochazka has vacated the UFC light-heavyweight title and the UFC has promoted a light-heavyweight bout between ex-champion Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the December 10 pay-per-view main event, which will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Blachowicz and Ankalaev will battle for the vacant light heavyweight title. The UFC is offering refunds to ticket holders of the original main event.

“Out of respect for the athletes and the division, Prochazka has elected to relinquish his title and will compete for the title once he is medically cleared,” the UFC said in a prepared release sent to MMA Fighting.

According to ESPN. com, the nature of the injury may require up to a year of recovery time. A person close to Prochazka, who refused to be publicly named due to the sensitivity of the fighter’s situation, confirmed that the injury was to the shoulder of the now ex-champion. The person said the injury will require surgery, adding that it will “unfortunately be a long way back”.

MMA Fighting could not immediately reach Teixeira for comment on the uproar.

The reportedly former light heavyweight champion would defend his first title in a rematch of a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender against ex-champion Teixeira, losing via fifth-round submission in their first meeting, a back-and-forth fight. June slugfest at UFC 275.

The match between Blachowicz and Ankalaev put the winner in prime position to challenge for the title. Blachowicz, who ceded the title to Teixeira in 2021, called out Prochazka immediately after the Czech fighter’s title win. But the new champion instead decided to reverse his fight with Teixeira, wanting to correct what he believed to be his worst career performance.

Below is the UFC’s full statement on Prochazka’s injury and the new UFC 282 main event:

UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka has suffered a shoulder injury that will require a significant rehabilitation period. Out of respect for the athletes and the division, Prochazka has chosen to relinquish his title and will compete for the title once he is medically cleared.

As a result, new UFC 282 main event former champion and No. 2 Jan Blachowicz will face No. 3 ranked Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant, undisputed UFC light heavyweight championship.

Blachowicz, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with legendary knockout prowess, has had four of his last six wins in emphatic fashion and looks set to recapture his lost crown with another signature win. Ankalaev is currently racking up the second-longest win streak in UFC light heavyweight history with nine wins, including five via finish, and plans to extend his streak by claiming his first UFC title.

Due to a change in the main event, refunds are available at the point of sale. UFC 282: BLACHOWICZ vs ANKALAEV takes place on Saturday, December 10 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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