Jiri Prochazka became the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion on Saturday night, submitting Glover Teixeira with just 28 seconds to spare in their five-round fight.
Prochazka’s victory headlined UFC 275, which took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
After a bloody and tiring near five rounds of action, Prochazka was able to submit Teixeira with a rear naked choke.
The finish for the fight came in the final minute, shortly after Prochazka took top position. Teixeira had full mount before then, but Prochazka was able to explode out of the position and get on his back.
Without his legs hooked on Teixeira, Prochakza put in a rear naked choke. A tap from Teixeira came just moments later, calling an end to the bout.
“The choke came naturally,” said Prochazka in his post-fight interview. “I just watched the moment, what opportunity was before me.”
Both light heavyweights had numerous big moments before the finish emerged late.
The fight became bloody in the second round due to work from Teixeira. He spent a fair amount of the round in full mount against Prochazka, landing punches and elbows. One elbow, in particular, opened a cut above the left eye of Prochazka.
Prochazka’s sharp striking caused damage to Teixeira later on. This became clear in the second round, and even more so in the third.
Teixeira looked to close out the fight with an arm triangle attempt in the fourth round, although he wasn’t able to get it done from full mount. The fight became a back-and-forth grappling battle in the final minute of the round, with the controlling fighter changing numerous times.
Teixeira opened the final round with a bang, hurting Prochazka with punches. A stunned Prochazka had a moment to rest, as Teixeira went to the ground with a guillotine choke attempt that expired just moments later.
On the feet, Prochazka continued to eat hard punches before the fight went back to the ground for the finishing sequence.
Prochazka, a former RIZIN Light Heavyweight Champion, earned a title fight after a quick rise up the 205-pound division.
He won his UFC debut in 2020, stopping Volkan Oezdemir in the second round of a fight. A year later, he was victorious in the main event of a card, stopping former title challenger Dominick Reyes with strikes.
Teixeira became champion last year through an upset submission victory over Jan Blachowicz. At 42 years old, Teixeira entered this weekend as the second-oldest champion in UFC history.
Despite the loss on Saturday, Teixeira said he doesn’t plan on leaving the sport yet.
“Do I look 42 out there?” Teixeira asked to UFC broadcaster Daniel Cormier. When told “no,” Teixeira replied, “then I’m gonna keep going.”
Shevchenko Sneaks By Santos For Historic Championship Win
Valentina Shevchenko had a surprisingly close split decision win against Taila Santos to defend her UFC Flyweight Championship in Saturday night’s co-main event.
Shevchenko’s win saw her battle back from early struggles, taking late rounds against Santos to get the nod on two of the three scorecards.
Santos had a big moment early in the bout, as she was able to take the back of Shevchenko and attempt a rear naked choke.
Santos put together control time in the second round, although she didn’t do much with the position that she earned. The fight was stood up at one point by the referee due to inactivity.
Shevchenko started to have more control of the fight in the third round, although Santos was able to get another rear naked choke attempt late in that frame.
Shevchenko showed urgency in the fourth and fifth rounds, marching forward with striking that Santos didn’t have an answer for. She connected frequently with her blows and also scored takedowns briefly as well.
Swelling around an eye of Santos hurt her ability to compete late in the fight, as noted during an interview afterward.
Shevchenko finished the fight in half guard, landing shots to the body of Santos until the contest ran out of time.
While Shevchenko said she was surprised by how Santos performed, she did not regret how the close fight played out.
“I did everything. I left my heart in this octagon,” said Shevchenko, reflecting on the fight.
Shevchenko’s victory was the seventh time that she defended her flyweight belt since earning it in late 2018. This became a historic run on Saturday, as it became the sole longest streak of title fight wins by any woman in UFC history.
Shevchenko was previously tied for the record along with Ronda Rousey’s bantamweight title run from 2012 to 2015.
Prior to Saturday, Shevchenko’s last title fight was a fourth-round finish victory against Lauren Murphy.
Santos was given a title shot after picking up four consecutive victories from 2020 to 2021. Her previous win was a first-round submission victory over Joanne Wood, who she submitted in November 2021.
Jedrzejczyk Retires Following Rematch Loss Against Zhang
Former UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk announced her retirement from MMA on Saturday night after losing a rematch bout against Zhang Weili.
Zhang dropped Jedrzejczyk clean in the second round with a spinning backfist. The shot caused Jedrzeczyk to fall forward and made the referee end the fight immediately.
Zhang had a solid opening round prior to the finish, notably taking Jedrzejczyk down and unloading with elbows from a controlling position on the ground.
Jedrzejczyk mentioned afterward that she plans to end her career on that performance.
“I’m retired, guys,” a shaken Jedrzejczyk said in her post-fight interview. “I love you guys. Thank you so much for the support […] I’m turning 35 this year. I want to be a mom. I want to be a businesswoman. I’ve been training [MMA for] two decades. [More] than half of my life.”
Jedrzejczyk entered the UFC in 2014 with a flawless record of six wins. She kept her undefeated record intact through eight fights in the promotion, becoming a champion during that time as well.
She lost against only some of the top names in UFC’s women’s divisions, dropping fights to Valentina Shevchenko, Rose Namajunas, and Zhang in the past.
The strawweight bout on Saturday night was a rematch of a popular title bout.
Zhang and Jedrzejczyk first met in early 2020 in a strawweight title fight. That five-round striking battle saw Zhang win via split decision, and was known by many afterward as the “Fight of the Year.”
Jedrzejczyk was appearing this weekend for the first time since that 2020 bout.
Zhang was a champion the first time she met Jedrzejczyk, but that wasn’t the case this weekend. Zhang lost champion status in 2021, dropping a fight to Rose Namajunas at UFC 261. Zhang also later lost a rematch against Namajunas in a split decision result.
Following her win, Zhang set her sights on current UFC Strawweight Champion, Carla Esparza.
Matthews Stops Fialho To Bounce Back From Loss
Jake Matthews showcased his sharp striking on Saturday’s main card, scoring a second-round finish victory over explosive welterweight Andre Fialho.
Matthews followed up on a strong opening round by turning up the intensity in the second round. He started to clip Fialho with punches, landing clean blows that were stunning him.
The start of the finishing sequence came from a left hook that Matthews landed during an exchange. He then connected with a right hook that floored Fialho, ending the fight.
Matthew was appearing for the first time since suffering a submission loss against Sean Brady in early 2021. He has now won four of his last five fights as a pro.
The fight on Saturday marked the first time that Matthews finished a fight due to strikes during his UFC run. Afterward, Matthews claimed that the best has yet to come from him.
“Everything you’ve seen from me before this point was 50 percent of Jake Matthews,” he said in his post-fight interview.
The fight was Fialho’s fourth appearance of the year. He made his UFC debut back in January, stepping in to face Michel Pereira on short notice. After losing that bout, Fialho returned and scored two first-round finish victories from April to May.
Della Maddalena Drops Emeev Early For Second UFC Win
Jack Della Maddalena used his sharp striking to secure a second UFC win on Saturday night, stopping Ramazan Emeev in the first round to end the fight.
Della Maddalena finished the fight with an aggressive combination of punches. Going to the head and body with shots, Della Maddalena backed Emeev up against the cage while firing away. He eventually landed a hook to the body that dropped Emeev, forcing the bout to end.
Emeev threatened Della Maddalena with a submission earlier in the fight, getting him to the ground briefly to attempt a choke.
Della Maddalena won his UFC debut earlier this year, stopping short-notice opponent Pete Rodriguez in the first round with strikes. Just a few months before then, he earned a contract with the promotion by defeating Ange Loosa on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
Emeev has now lost two consecutive fights. His previous bout was a split decision defeat against Danny Roberts.
The Rest of the Card
Joshua Culibao picked up a win in his return, prevailing in a hectic three-round stand-up battle against Choi Seung-woo for a split decision win.
“Contender Series” alum Maheshate won his UFC debut in explosive fashion, stopping Steve Garcia in the second minute with punches. A minute after briefly dropping Garcia with a right hand, Maheshate scored a counter right cross for a walk-off knockout.
Brendan Allen earned a close unanimous decision win over Jacob Malkoun after a grappling-heavy bout. Online, critics were divided over the decision. At MMADecisions.com, nine of the 17 media scorecards saw Malkoun as the winner.
Kang Kyung-ho bounced back from a 2021 loss against Rani Yahya, scoring a decision victory against Danaa Batgerel.
Silvana Gomez Juarez scored her first UFC win on Saturday night, stopping Liang Na with a right hook for a second-minute finish.
A kick-heavy stand-up style from Joselyne Edwards put her back into the win column, going up to featherweight to defeat Ramona Pascual via unanimous decision.
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 10:00AM SGT) (PPV)
Bout 11: Jiri Prochakza def. Glover Teixeira via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 5, 4:32) (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
Bout 10: Valentina Shevchenko def. Taila Santos via Decision, Split (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Bout 9: Zhang Weili def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:28)
Bout 8: Jake Matthews def. Andre Fialho via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:24)
Bout 7: Jack Della Maddalena def. Ramazan Emeev via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:32)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EDT / 8:00AM SGT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 6: Joshua Culibao def. Choi Seung-woo via Decision, Split
Bout 5: Maheshate def. Steve Garcia via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:14)
Bout 4: Brendan Allen def. Jacob Malkoun via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Kang Kyung-ho def. Danaa Batgerel via Decision, Unanimous
Early Prelims (7:00PM EDT / 7:00AM SGT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 2: Silvana Gomez Juarez def. Liang Na via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:22)
Bout 1: Joselyne Edwards def. Ramona Pascual via Decision, Unanimous