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Jiri Prochazka Shares Update 2 Months After Vacating UFC Title

Former UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jiri Prochazka hopes to make his Octagon return this summer after suffering a shoulder injury last year that forced him to vacate the 205-pound strap.

Prochazka was scheduled to make his first title defense in December at UFC 282 against Glover Teixeira, but a few weeks out from the fight “Denisa” dropped out with a severely compromised shoulder. Two months later and Prochazka appeared on Monday’s episode of MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” to give host Ariel Helwani an update.

“Everything is going a great way,” Prochazka said. “Next week I’m going to Las Vegas to continue in rehabilitation and all these processes to be quick, to [have] the fastest way back possible. I don’t want to be [too] fast for the shoulder, but it’s getting much better than everybody expects, so I’m happy for that.

“I think I can be back in July or August, something like that. Six or seven months, something like that. Because I don’t want the fastest way back just to fight.

“I know this is not the best attitude. I want to be sure that my body works for 200 percent, and I think it can be in summer of this year. Just let me work on that and I will be back as soon as possible.”

Jamahal Hill Is the New UFC Light Heavyweight Champion

Prochazka’s vacated belt was contested for on two separate occasions. Former champ Jan Blachowicz and contender Magomed Ankalaev headlined UFC 282 in December for the strap, but the bout was ruled a draw. UFC president Dana White announced after the bout that Teixeira and Jamahal Hill would duel for the belt at UFC 283 on January 21.

That match produced a new champion. Hill took it to Teixeira, setting a record for the most significant strikes landed in a UFC 205-pound match. The headliner went all five rounds and “Sweet Dreams” was awarded the vacant strap by sweeping the judges’ scorecards.

Prochazka Is Looking Forward to Challenging Hill for the Belt

When asked about the fight, Prochazka admitted that he was “surprised” by Teixeira’s performance. He also congratulated Hill and stated that he was excited to compete against the 31-year-old champion.

“I was a little bit surprised by Glover Teixeira’s performance, his energy and his speed,” Prochazka said. “He was so slow. He was a little bit slow. Amazing work from Jamahal, he did everything right. So congratulations to him and I’m looking forward for him.

“I thought [Teixeira] had big chance to win, especially in Rio with the home crowd. Everything worked in this event for him, so I’m a little bit surprised by that, but that’s good. A good step for light heavyweight, and I’m happy for that. I’m happy for this result because Jamahal Hill is a young guy, he’s dangerous, and I like to [have] before me somebody like him, who [will] challenge me. I’m looking forward to starting training.”

Prochazka earned the belt in June after battling Teixeira in a five-round all-time war. With less than a minute on the clock, Denisa caught Teixeira in a rear-naked choke, forcing the tap and claiming his title.

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