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Ex-UFC champ Jiri Procházka eyes late summer return

Jiri Procházka, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, is eyeing a late summer return to the octagon after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Following his fight against Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 in June, "Denisa" has been sidelined. The two candidates for light heavyweight in Singapore's main event put on a showcase. As the fifth round commenced, Procházka was behind on the scoreboard and unexpectedly won via submission.

He won the title of light-heavyweight after that, but the great days were short-lived. Procházka was promptly scheduled to face Teixeira again in December of last year, but he was compelled to withdraw because of a shoulder injury. The champion was predicted to be sidelined for nearly a year by the accident, which would force him to relinquish his championship.

The UFC scheduled Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev as the co-headliners of UFC 282 in December since the division was desperate for a new champion. The gold was still unclaimed after Ankalaev and Blachowicz fought to a split draw. Glover Teixeira, Prochazka's planned rival, was scheduled to face up-and-coming challenger Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 after a disgruntled Dana White opted to walk on. Hill won the contest handily and won the open title.

But despite the setback, Procházka is optimistic about his future and is keen to return to the octagon as soon as possible. It's unclear who Prochazka will face in his return, but the light heavyweight division has plenty of intriguing matchups in the plan which could change the situation upon the return of the Czech native.

“I’m working on it,” Procházka said on the Top Turtle MMA Podcast. “Right now, the main target is to be in full range with that shoulder, to have activated all the muscles around the shoulder, and still building the best conditioning in the game and still work on the movement.

“I’d like to be (back) this summer or the end of this summer. It doesn’t matter. I will watch how it goes, everything, and by that we can fight maybe earlier or maybe later. But I think this summer is real to be ready and to be the champion.”

Prochazka's return will be eagerly anticipated by UFC fans, who have been waiting to see the exciting striker back in action. His unique blend of technical striking and unorthodox offense makes him one of the most entertaining fighters to watch, and his upcoming return is sure to generate a lot of buzzes. Though he has no regrets about vacating the title.

“There’s no regrets,” Procházka said. “There’s no regrets. I don’t regret nothing. Everything – what I did was necessary, even the injury. Everything has a reason, so I’m good with everything. I’m just happy with how everything went.

“When I will be back in full power, I will be the champion. I am the champion right now, but I will be on paper the champion and I’m looking forward to the next challenges.”

As Procházka continues his rehabilitation, he will be working hard to get back to his best and make another run at the light heavyweight title. While the road ahead may be tough, his talent and determination suggest that he has what it takes to achieve greatness in the UFC. We can't wait to see what he has in store for us in his return to the octagon later this year.


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