"I am in" - Jiri Prochazka accepts Aleksandar Rakic's challenge and offers a concrete timeline for their potential fight
Jiri Prochazka answered Aleksandar Rakic’s callout and offered to fight him in the first quarter of 2024. Rakic was originally scheduled to rematch former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 297.
However, a recent post on his X (formerly Twitter) handle revealed that Blachowicz has pulled out of the fight. A few hours later, Jan Blachowicz formally announced the bout cancellation as he has suffered a shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Rakic wasted no time and called out former champion Jiri Prochazka to step up for a fight. He wrote:
“You can never lose a rematch when you pull out for the second time. Legendary Bullshit. Let's see if the Samurai has the balls to step up on Jan 20th. @Mickmaynard2 @danawhite”
Jiri Prochazka answered the callout and offered to fight Rakic in February or March. He posted:
“I am in, but the earliest time I can be in octagon is February/March. Accept?"
Check out the interaction below:
For the uninitiated, Aleksandar Rakic lost to Jan Blachowicz via TKO in May 2022 as he was rendered unable to fight after suffering an ACL injury in round three. Meanwhile, Prochazka is coming off a knockout loss against Alex Pereira at UFC 295, which took place in November of 2023.
Jiri Prochazka’s struggle with shoulder injury and subsequent comeback
Prochazka became the light heavyweight champion in his third UFC appearance when he defeated Glover Texeira at UFC 275. He was scheduled to rematch Teixeira in December but an unfortunate shoulder injury forced him out of the contest. Prochazka relinquished the title to keep the division moving forward.
In his absence, Jamahall Hill captured the title with a unanimous decision win over Glover Teixeira in the vacant title fight. Like his predecessor, Hill was also forced to vacate the title due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Prochazka made his return to the octagon against Alex Pereira for the vacant 205 lbs. strap. Jiri Prochazka lost the fight via a second round TKO. He was suspended for 45 days to get mandatory rest due to the nature of his loss. The timeline for his return depends upon clearance from medical professionals, and so, he may not be able to face Rakic at UFC 297.