The UFC’s big event in The Big Apple just got bigger, thanks to the addition of a dynamite matchup for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title.
UFC CEO Dana White took to the UFC’s social media platforms to announce a number of matchups, including the new co-main event for UFC 295 on November 11 in New York City, where former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka will make his return from injury to face former undisputed middleweight champion Alex Pereira for the vacant 205-pound strap.
Czech Republic’s Prochazka blasted his way into the UFC’s light heavyweight division in 2020 with a second-round knockout of former title challenger Volkan Oezedmir at UFC 251, then added another KO to his resume with a spinning-elbow finish of another former title challenger, Dominick Reyes, at UFC Vegas in May 2021.
Those two explosive performances earned him a shot at the 205-pound title, and after a back-and-forth war that was voted Fighters Only’s Fight of the Year last year, Prochazka submitted Glover Teixeira in the final 30 seconds of their epic title fight at UFC 275 to capture the belt in only his third UFC fight.
Unfortunately, a planned rematch with Teixeira in December 2022 was scrapped after Prochazka suffered a serious shoulder injury that required surgery, and the Czech fighter relinquished the belt to allow the division to move on. Now, one year later, Prochazka is ready to return and fight for the belt he never lost inside the Octagon.
He’ll be facing Pereira, whose rise to a UFC title took just four fights. A flying-knee finish of Greece’s Andreas Michailidis announced his arrival at UFC 268, and a decision victory over Bruno Silva established him as a serious player in the UFC middleweight division.
A first-round knockout of Sean Strickland at UFC 276 then catapulted “Poatan” into a title fight with old kickboxing rival Israel Adesanya at UFC 281, and his standing-TKO finish of “The Last Stylebender” in the final round saw him dramatically capture the undisputed middleweight title.
However, Adesanya returned the favor at UFC 287 as he knocked out Pereira to reclaim the crown, and the Brazilian then made the decision to move up to light heavyweight, where the weight cut would not be as severe, and he could fight at a more natural weight for his rangy size.
His 205-pound debut was a winning one, as he edged former UFC champ Jan Blachowicz via split decision to prove he immediately deserved to be included among the division’s top contenders. And now he’ll bid to capture a UFC title in a second weight class when he faces Prochazka at Madison Square Garden on November 11.
The event will be headlined by a battle for the undisputed UFC heavyweight title, as reigning champion Jon Jones faces off against former two-time heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
UFC 295: Confirmed fights
- Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic – for heavyweight title
- Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira – for light heavyweight title
- Jessica Andrade vs. Mackenzie Dern
- Joshua Van vs. Kevin Borjas
- Matt Schnell vs. Steve Erceg
- Jared Gordon vs. Mark Madsen
- Pat Sabatini vs. Diego Lopes
- Mateusz Rebecki vs. Nurullo Aliev
- Dennis Buzukja vs. Jamall Emmers