Ladies and gentlemen, we are in for a treat! This weekend, the UFC makes its return to the Big Apple, with UFC 295 taking over New York City this weekend. Here, we offer our outlook and a Pereira vs Prochazka prediction for the main event, with an insanely exciting light-heavyweight title fight between Alex “Poatan” Pereira and Jiri Procházka.
Alex Pereira: “Poatan” On The Hunt
Alex Pereira has had a truly remarkable MMA career to date.
The man lurked in the shadows of Israel Adesanya's past from his kickboxing days, and cast a huge spectre on his title reign from the second he stepped foot in a UFC octagon. He then proceeded to take the UFC middleweight world championship in just his FOURTH ever UFC matchup.
Now, he stands on the cusp of achieving something even more remarkable – adding his name to the hall of two-weight world champions (a “champ-champ”, if you will). He will have to go through a Samurai to do so, but who would be foolish enough to rule Pereira out of any matchup at this point?
Jiri Procházka: The Stoic Samurai
Jiri Procházka is heading to NYC to reclaim what is his – the UFC light-heavyweight championship that he never actually lost.
It's hard to believe that Procházka has only had three fights in the UFC. Like his foe, Pereira, Procházka has had an almost unprecedented impact in such a short period of time.
A stunning debut knockout victory over Volkan Oezdemir was followed by an absolute war with Dominick Reyes, which was THEN followed by a fight of the year against Glover Teixeira at UFC 275. Being one of the most exciting fighters on Planet Earth, you know that Jiri Procházka is coming to bring it on Saturday night.
Alex Pereira: Path to Victory – Elite Kickboxing Prowess
An early prediction of mine is that Alex Pereira's approach to this fight is going to be the exact opposite to that of his opponent – and that is going to be his best chance of winning this fight.
Unlike Procházka, who will basically throw the kitchen sink (and more), “Poatan”‘s approach is extraordinarily disciplined and measured. I don't need to reel off Pereira's insane kickboxing resumé, because you probably know it already. What is key for Pereira in this fight is his timing and his approach.
Procházka is notoriously wild and reckless in his approach, and he often leaves his hands at hip-level. This is prime territory for Pereira. In his fight against Sean Strickland, Pereira punished Strickland for his sloppy hand placement, absolutely nuking him with his now infamous left hand. If Procházka is not careful, my prediction is that he could easily suffer the same fate in this fight.
Jiri Procházka: Path to Victory – Sheer Unpredictability
What makes this fight such a mouth-watering prospect is that both fighters take polar opposite approaches to their fights.
Unlike Pereira, Procházka's approach is as wild as it gets. Just watch any one of his fights in the UFC, and you'll see just how unpredictable his approach is. He cuts extremely unorthodox angles, and his unusual approaches open up his violent elbows and knees.
An early Prochazka vs Pereira prediction here is that Alex Pereira is going to have to be very, very cautious in this fight, especially in regards to getting backed up against the fence. If this happens, then Procházka will detonate out of nowhere, and it will be something extremely damaging.
That being said, another prediction I have for Jiri is that he is going to have to make more of an effort to keep his hands up higher; he CANNOT afford to keep his hands hanging low against Pereira. If he does, then “Poatan” has the power to knock him into another dimension.
Official Prochazka vs Pereira Prediction: Pereira To Slay The Samurai
The first, and arguably most important Prochazka vs Pereira prediction to make is that this fight is going to be utter chaos, in the best way imaginable.
One of these men (literally) lives by the Samurai code of Bushido. The other channels his roots from the Pataxó tribe in Brazil. Both men are here to hunt, and both men are here to win – by any means necessary.
In truth, this is a very hard fight to make a prediction for. Procházka has the ability and means to send one to the shadow realm from out of nowhere, whilst Pereira has the power to permanently rearrange your vital organs. However, the fact that Jiri got rocked (and even beat up) by Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 bodes very badly for him, especially against a killer like “Poatan.” My official prediction is that Alex Pereira wins via third round knockout.