How Czech star Jiri Prochazka emerged as title contender for UFC 275

Jiri Prochazka could become the Czech Republic’s initial UFC champion on Saturday evening but the waves of that achievements would crash very well outside of his homeland. 

The 29-year-previous has the hallmarks of a celebrity and extremely couple of fighters make them selves a shot at the belt immediately after just two outings at the big demonstrate. 

He is on the cusp of a new level of stardom but if anybody can be prepared for the wild earth of fame and celebrity, it is Prochazka, who sights himself as a modern-day day samurai. 

He has since developed into one of the top UFC stars

Jiri Prochazka admitted he lived on the ‘edge of morality’ as a youngster (remaining) but has given that committed his lifestyle to MMA and the craft all around it 

Prochazka (right) knocked out Dominick Reyes (left) is his last fight to earn a title shot

Prochazka (ideal) knocked out Dominick Reyes (still left) is his very last battle to earn a title shot 

For all the bluff, bluster and trash speak keeping the wheels of the UFC spinning – the silent guy from Hostěradice has a different sort of allure. 

He lives his everyday living by the strict code of Budisho – the principles by which historical Japanese warriors held by themselves to. 

Prochazka, like several qualified fighters, began by scrapping on the streets and residing, as he describes, ‘on the edge of morality’. 

‘When it came to my training my mentor Jaroslav Hovezak gave me 5 Rings,’ he beforehand described. ‘It was an significant instant since it gave me some policies to my lifestyle. 

‘From this time I started off to understand about Chinese tradition, Japanese samurai suggestions and (commenced) on a spiritual journey. The timing, the rhythm, how to start to use my true electrical power.’

Prochazka has been inspired by The Book of Five Rings and lives by the code of Bushido

Prochazka has been motivated by The E book of 5 Rings and lives by the code of Bushido

Composed by the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in the 17th century, The Reserve of Five Rings has been claimed to enable martial artists in a wide range of disciplines via a mixture of technical teachings and methods to battle. 

He added: ‘[Bushido] is quite straightforward principles which you can use for almost everything. It truly is about what you consider in, what you enjoy, how you want to discuss with other people. 

‘It’s about loyalty to, not your team, but loyalty to you to stay by my fact, what I am feeling within. It truly is really straightforward, but these things are [the] strongest.’

That obsession with Asian tradition is bound to support Prochazka really feel ideal at dwelling at UFC 275 this Saturday. Singapore plays host to the function and he’ll have a good deal of support from winner Glover Teixeira in the headline act. 

‘With this system, with this intellect, with this soul, with every single breath I want to acquire. I’m completely ready for anything,’ Prochazka claimed.

‘I even now find anything new in Musashi’s writings. This journey is countless – a single can nevertheless shift. We have been born without having just about anything and we will go away anyway. All we have remaining is a soul.’

The Czech Republic star would be the first fighter to win a UFC title from his country

The Czech Republic star would be the initially fighter to acquire a UFC title from his place

But for all the talk of head physique and soul, it was in point Tekken and the film ‘Never Again Down’ that first motivated him into the world of MMA as a youngster.  

He told the New York Put up: ‘Before higher university, my first working experience with martial arts was when I was enjoying ‘Tekken’ on the PlayStation (laughs). That was my initial experience. 

‘And then prior to I stepped into large faculty, my mate confirmed me Muay Thai films with Ramon Dekkers, and Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic and Fedor [Emelianenko]. It was around 2008, 2007. And I was psyched by that. 

‘And just after that, I noticed the motion picture ‘Never Back again Down,’ the first a person (laughs). And then I began to [train] martial arts, primarily Thai boxing, and I seriously fell in appreciate with it.’

Thrill-searching for as a young man has now been fully flipped on its head and Prochazka’s Instagram feed is packed with photographs of him education and meditating in the wilderness. 

The light-heavyweight became a champion in Rizin before signing with the UFC

The light-heavyweight grew to become a winner in Rizin right before signing with the UFC

He insists the hurry of victory is not what definitely motivates him. He thinks it to be an unsustainable, passing feeling. 

‘I do not just struggle to gain, acquire and win. Chasing victory and results is fleeting,’ Prochazka included. 

‘Everything can be long gone with a snap of your finger. I concentrate on running the journey as these kinds of. The philosophy of the Japanese samurai, who were being ready for their process or even to die for their master, served me a great deal.’

There are a good deal of fighters in the UFC who communicate up humility and honour, when other folks go after controversy to hit bigger spend-per-check out numbers. 

Prochazka is adequate of an enigma to drive fascination devoid of belittling opponents and it isn’t going to damage that he is massively entertaining to enjoy. 

He currently has 32 experienced fights and was the Rizin winner ahead of he set pen to paper with the UFC. 

Prochazka is a physical specimen and Glover Teixeira will have his work cut out

Prochazka is a physical specimen and Glover Teixeira will have his function lower out 

Of his 28 wins, 25 have arrive by knockout. His slick, unorthodox model and devastating energy, blended with frankly the finest hairstyle to grace the octagon, provides Prochazka box business office appeal. 

He stands at 6ft 3in but seems far far more imposing with the tightly tied hair protruding vertically from his scalp. 

You may possibly believe a KO artist has to have a distinct type of venom or spiteful intent but Prochazka is just about a reluctant killer. 

He instructed a Czech newspaper: ‘When the opponent is out, I will only do what is certainly necessary for the referee to tear it up. 

‘I’m not beating him up for my personal gratification that I want to defeat another person or be intense. This is total nonsense. 

‘I’m not heading to maim my opponent, but I am likely to conquer him. I have no challenge with him, I do not wage war with him.’

Most likely Prochazka’s one-minded devotion to his way of existence helps make him additional eerily threatening. 

It will be fascinating to see if the 29-year-old can keep up his rate of progression

It will be fascinating to see if the 29-year-old can continue to keep up his level of development

It is been seven a long time due to the fact his final defeat and second-spherical knockouts of Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes have been plenty of for the contact-up in Singapore. 

Teixeira, 42, is the 2nd oldest winner in UFC history right after Randy Couture and will have his arms complete. 

The Brazilian is fatal on the ground so could pose a distinctive type of danger to his challenger but it would be no surprise at all to see the Czech star have his hand elevated. 

Mild-heavyweight has been a intriguing division considering that Jon Jones vacated his belt but if Prochazka proceeds on his current trajectory, the division could be on the cusp of a new period.