It’s happening. The highly touted former king of the RIZIN ring at 205-pounds, Jiri Prochazka (26-3-1), is getting his UFC debut.
Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, “Denisa” will make his first walk to the Octagon on “Fight Island” at UFC 251 on July 11. Welcoming him to the promotion will be former title challenger and No. 7 ranked contender, Volkan Oezdemir (17-4).
Breaking: UFC finalizing Volkan Oezdemir (@volkan_oezdemir) vs. former Rizin champion Jiri Prochazka on July 11.
Oezdemir 12 KOs in 17 wins. Prochazka 23 KOs in 26 wins. If you want to familiarize yourself with Prochazka: https://t.co/jNdlbmVON5
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) June 8, 2020
The Czech Republic’s Prochazka was signed by the UFC at the beginning of this year in January. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, he like many other of his fellow international competitors were forced to wait a little bit longer for their next times out.
But Prochazka won’t be having to wait that much longer as his big UFC debut is now just slightly over a month away.
Currently riding an exceptional 10-fight winning streak that consists of nine knockouts, the former RIZIN champ has always been a purveyor of violence. In total, 23 of his 26 career victories have ended via strikes.
Believed to already be an elite-tier light heavyweight by the community, the UFC is seeing that in Prochazka as well as evidenced by matching him with Oezdemir.
Since quickly bursting onto the scene in his UFC debut in February 2017, Oezdemir has been a staple among the 205-pound top 10. After three big wins, two of which came in speedy fashion both ending under a minute, Oezdemir fought for the title.
The Switzerland native would come up short against the champion at the time in Daniel Cormier before dropping his two fights that followed. However, he currently rides a two-fight winning streak with wins over Ilir Latifi and Aleksandar Rakic. If he can extend that to three by taking out the red-hot Prochazka, Oezdemir may not be far off from his second crack at gold.
Especially when considering all the uncertainty surrounding the division’s peak at the moment.
As for the rest of UFC 251, the main event has yet to be announced but a handful of fights have been made. Check them out below in no particular order.
- Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane
- Flyweight – 125lbs: Paige VanZant vs. Amanda Ribas
- Bantamweight – 135lbs: Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz
- Strawweight – 125lbs: Rose Namajunas vs. Jéssica Andrade
- Light heavyweight – 205lbs: Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka