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Jiri Prochazka releases statement after vacating the light heavyweight title, UFC 282 withdrawal

Jiri Prochazka suffered "the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history," according to Dana White, and was forced to withdraw from his main event commitments against Glover Teixeira at UFC 282. Now, Jiri Prochazka apologizes for having to miss UFC 282 and give up his light heavyweight title, but he swears to win it back.

Prochazka explained that he sustained the setback in the closing days of his training camp as he got ready to take on Glover Teixeira in the UFC 282 main event on Instagram. Prochazka's injury necessitates surgery, which will keep him out of business for several months.

Prochazka explained his reasoning for vacating the title and said that keeping the rest of the division moving forward was his top priority in a challenging scenario.

“I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be defending my belt at UFC 282,” Prochazka wrote. “I was injured in training in Las Vegas while finishing my preparation for my title defense in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. I injured my shoulder and surgery is required which will put me out of action for at least six months.

“Knowing this information, I have decided, after consulting with UFC management, that due to this time constraint, I will not hold [up] the light heavyweight division and will vacate the title.”

Prochazka's choice to abandon the title, which he said he made independently of the promotion, was lauded by UFC president Dana White. Now, Magomed Ankalaev and Jan Blachowicz will face off for a vacant title in the main event of UFC 282, as a consequence.

At UFC 275 in June, Prochazka submitted Teixeira in the fifth round to win the title. The 30-year-old Czech fighter has pledged that in his first come back from shoulder surgery, he will compete for the UFC light heavyweight championship.

“I will go for the UFC belt as soon as the doctors give me the green light to fight,” Prochazka wrote. “I’m going to go for the belt and I’m going to get it no matter who currently holds it. It’s always been the most important thing for me to put on the best performance and compare myself to the best. Let the best show no matter who’s there now.

“I’ll be back in six months, and I’ll take the title whoever holds it. I apologize to my fans, friends, family who bought tickets and made plans to come to Las Vegas to support me, it means a lot to me. I also want to apologize to Glover. Victory!”

Despite Prochazka's stated goal of making a comeback in six months, it's anticipated that his shoulder ailment may prevent him from playing for much longer. A proper diagnosis won't be determined until after his surgery, though.

Later, Prochazka made a video statement in which he thanked the public for their support, congratulated Blachowicz and Ankalaev, and expressed regret to Teixeira.


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