Jiri Prochazka vacates UFC title; Surprising vacant title fight set – MMA Junkie

Jiri Prochazka isn’t UFC light heavyweight champion anymore, and the man expected to challenge for the title no longer will.
The UFC 282 main event between Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and former champ Glover Teixiera (33-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) has been canceled. Prochazka suffered a “serious” shoulder injury and has vacated his title, Yahoo Sports! first reported Wednesday.
With Prochazka out, the promotion has elevated Magomed Ankalaev (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) vs. Jan Blachowicz (29-9 MMA, 12-6 UFC) to the UFC 282 main event for the 205-pound championship.
“UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka has suffered a shoulder injury that will require a significant rehabilitation period,” the UFC said in a statement. “Out of respect to the athletes and the division, Prochazka has elected to vacate his title and will compete for the belt as soon as he is medically cleared.”
UFC president Dana White later shed light on the severity of Prochazka’s injured right shoulder.
“This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history,” White told Yahoo Sports!. “It’s really f*cking bad. His shoulder is very, very bad. He’s going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab.”
Yahoo! Sports initially reported that Teixeira “turned down the title fight.” A person with knowledge of the situation later told MMA Junkie that the UFC offered Teixeira to fight Ankalaev for the title at UFC 282, but Teixeira declined because he felt like he needed more time to prepare for a new opponent. Teixeira requested to fight Ankalaev in January at UFC 283 in Brazil, but the UFC said no. Teixeira also asked to fight Blachowicz, whom he defeated for the belt in October 2021, instead of Ankalaev at UFC 282, but the UFC said no.
UFC 282 takes place Dec. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with the main card on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.
Prochazka and Teixeira were set to rematch after a wild UFC 275 headliner many viewers deemed a “Fight of the Year” candidate. To cap off a back-and-forth affair, Prochakza submitted Teixeira in the final minutes of the bout to win the title.
Following its conclusion, both Prochazka and Teixeira advocated for a rematch. The UFC obliged and set Ankalaev vs. Blachowicz as a likely title eliminator on the same card.
Blachowicz has won six of his most recent seven outings with his only loss his championship defeat to Teixeira. Meanwhile, Ankalaev has won nine in a row.
With the change, the UFC 282 lineup includes:
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