Jiri Prochazka was unsuccessful in reclaiming the light heavyweight title against Alex Pereira at UFC 295. By the end of the night, it was ‘Poatan’ who got his hand raised after landing his trademark left hook and winning via TKO to become a two-division champion after just seven UFC fights.
But for other observers like veteran Matt Brown, referee Marc Goddard may have stopped the fight too early.
Brown reacts to Jiri Prochazka’s UFC 295 loss
For Brown, Jiri Prochazka got the short end of the stick because of Goddard’s decision. ‘The Immortal’ says the Czech fighter should’ve been allowed to fight on, especially in a bout of such magnitude.
“It was definitely early,” Brown said on MMA Fighting.com’s The Fighter vs. The Writer podcast.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that, especially at this level and especially at the championship level. Not that there should be a difference, but there should be a difference between amateur and then pro. At that level, it was certainly early.
“This is what we do for a living … give the guy a chance,” he continued. “We’ve seen some insane comebacks. To be fair to the referees, it is very subjective. You’ve got a split second to make a decision.
So it’s kind of hard to compare one fight to another. There’s certain things that they’re looking for, and they’ve got a split second to change a fighter’s entire career right there.
“It is a very difficult situation that they’re in, but it was early.”
Brown, who had a similar sentiment when Israel Adesanya lost to Pereira at UFC 281, says Prochazka should’ve gone out on his shield.
“I don’t think [Prochazka] would have got out either, by the way. I think Alex would have finished, and Jiri probably would have taken more punishment.
“I do think that would have happened, but I’d rather see him take that punishment and go out properly on his sword or his shield.”
Brown commends Jiri Prochazka’s ‘humility’
From his end, Jiri Prochazka took the loss in stride despite what may be a controversial ending. Immediately after the contest, despite Joe Rogan giving him a built in excuse, the former champion said the stoppage was correct. “In the end, I think it was right. I was out.”
He remained classy in his follow up statements after.
“Marc Goddard was right. Maybe two, three more seconds and it would be a different way, but what happened, happened. I accept that,” he said in a post-fight social media video.
“Watch me now. I’ll be back. Stronger than ever. Thank you for your support.”
For Brown, how the former champ handled the situation is laudable.
“Personally, I think that’s Jiri’s humility coming out of him. I think if it was the worst stoppage in the world, you wouldn’t see him complain. He might say something about it, but I don’t think he’d complain about it.
“He’s just that kind of guy. He’s got the samurai spirit deep running in his blood. I don’t think you’re going to hear from him any real complaints, and I have a lot of respect for him for carrying himself that way.
“But the ref, you’ve just got to let it go.”
What’s next for Prochazka?
After a failed bid to recapture UFC gold, Jiri Prochazka may have to wait in line before he gets another crack at the title.
While the UFC has yet to make things official, another former champion, Jamahal Hill, is already campaigning for his championship shot.
The 32-year-old Hill won the vacant 205-pound title in January with a win over Glover Teixeira. However, he relinquished the title in July after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during a basketball game at International Fight Week.
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