- Jiří Procházka and Alex Pereira will vie for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden.
- Procházka is the betting underdog at +105.
- Pereira is the betting favorite at -125.
The iconic Madison Square Garden in New York will host the UFC Light Heavyweight title showdown between No. 1-ranked contender and former champion Jiří Procházka (29-3-1) and No. 3-ranked divisional challenger Alex Pereira (8-2). Procházka will be the slight betting underdog in the UFC odds at +105 despite his undefeated 3-0 record in the UFC.
— UFC (@ufc) November 6, 2023
Meanwhile, Pereira comes in as the slight betting favorite with -105 odds after his successful move to the 205-pound division in July 2023 when he defeated former champion Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event of UFC 291 via split decision. The Brazilian is also attempting to capture his second UFC title after previously winning the UFC middleweight title.
Jiří Procházka Recent Fight Results
Procházka has been a professional MMA fighter since 2012 and competed in various promotions all over the world. He racked up a record of 26 wins, three losses, and a draw before the UFC signed him in 2020, where he was pitted against Volkan Oezdemir for his promotional debut. Procházka wowed everyone by knocking out Oezdemir in the second round.
Following that impressive first fight in the UFC, the 31-year-old Czechian was matched against former title challenger Dominick Reyes in May 2021 and once again delivered a highlight-reel knockout in the second round via spinning elbow. Those back-to-back knockout victories earned him an outright shot for Glover Teixeira’s light heavyweight title in June 2022 at UFC 275.
“BJP” was on the brink of losing to Teixeira in their five-round championship showdown because he was down in the judges’ scorecards heading into the last round, but he managed to eke out a fifth-round submission victory via rear-naked choke to become the undisputed champion. However, his reign was cut short because he suffered a shoulder injury in training that forced him to relinquish the belt. This will be his comeback fight since that injury.
— UFC (@ufc) November 6, 2023
Alex Pereira Recent Fight Results
Pereira was a former two-division GLORY kickboxing world champion before he took his combat sports skills to MMA in 2015. He only had an MMA record of three wins and one loss when he made his UFC debut in November 2021. In his promotional bout, Pereira fought Andreas Michailidis and scored a second-round TKO finish. Since then, he picked up two more wins.
“Poatan” added Bruno Silva and Sean Strickland to his victim list with a unanimous decision and a first-round knockout to set up a world title fight with rival Israel Adesanya in November 2022 at UFC 281. Pereira was also behind the judges’ scorecards when he unleashed a powerful combination in the fifth round to put Adesanya away and become the new middleweight champion.
The 36-year-old Brazilian was defeated by “The Last Stylebender” in their rematch in April 2023 with a vicious second-round knockout. With problems with weight cutting and an ending to his rivalry with Adesanya, Pereira finally decided to move up in the light heavyweight division and beat Blachowicz in his inaugural fight in the 205-pound weight class.
There’s NO standing in front of @AlexPereiraUFC's power! 👊 💥
— UFC (@ufc) November 6, 2023
Jiří Procházka vs. Alex Pereira: Tale of the Tape
Jiří Procházka vs. Alex Pereira: Fight Analysis
The tale of the tape between Procházka and Pereira for this light heavyweight championship clash is almost identical, as Pereira will have an inch of height advantage, but Procházka will enjoy an inch of reach and leg reach edge. The Czechian is also younger by five years at only 31, against the Brazilian, who is already 36.
Both fighters have similar fighting styles because they have a solid striking background in Muay Thai and kickboxing. This elite striking by both men was a big key to their success inside the Octagon because most of their finishes were via TKO//KOs. Procházka has a 96% finish rate (86% via TKO/KO and 10% via submission), and Pereira has a 75% finish rate all by way of TKO/KO.
More solid proof of their excellent stand-up game is their significant strike numbers, as Procházka lands 5.77 significant strikes per minute (55%) and 5.11 significant strikes landed per minute (62%) for Pereira. Defensively, the Pereira takes the lesser damage, with only 3.7 significant strikes landed per minute (51%) against the Procházka’s 5.4 significant strikes landed per minute (40%).
The grappling department favors Procházka because he has the better takedown average per 15 minutes at 0.38 (against Pereira’s 0.22) and submission average per 15 minutes of 0.38 (compared to Pereira’s 0). The only category that Pereira is better at is the takedown defense rate, where he logged 70% compared to Procházka’s 68%.
This fight promises to be a barnburner and striking masterclass that is filled with fireworks. Procházka is known for his unorthodox striking as he maximizes various angles to sneak in his signature elbow, knees, and kicks. This unorthodox approach is also the main hole in his stand-up game because it leaves him open for counters.
On the other hand, Pereira is a more calculated and sophisticated striker because he patiently waits for his opponent to move forward before throwing a lethal counterstrike. He also packs a thunderous right-hand punch that can put anyone to sleep with one hit. The main flaw in his arsenal is sometimes he doesn’t initiate the action and plays a very passive game.
Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Jiří Procházka.
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