It didn’t go Jiri Prochazka’s way under the lights at Madison Square Garden late on Saturday night but the Czech isn’t making any excuses.
Former 205-pound champ Prochazka was defeated late into the second round in the UFC 295 headliner after he was dropped with a series of strikes by the now two-division titleholder Alex Pereira. However, subsequent replays appeared to suggest that referee Marc Goddard had intervened in the fight a little too early — an opinion apparently shared by both Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier on commentary, the former particularly vocal in his belief that the contest had been stopped prematurely, as Prochazka appeared to be attempting to defend himself on the ground for a further Pereira assault.
However, in his first statements to social media after the fight Prochazka — to his credit — has defended the stoppage, and said that the Goddard made the right call to wave off the bout.
“Hello everyone, I just want to say to all of you thank you for your support,” Prochazka said, addressing fans in a brief video posted to Instagram. “This is for me just motivation. Nothing else. Marc Goddard was right. Maybe two or three seconds and it would be a different way, but what happened happened. I accept that. Watch me now. I’ll be back stronger than ever. Thank you for the support.”
The loss was the Czech’s first in the UFC, just the fourth of his career to date and ends a sequence of victories in mixed martial arts dating back to mid-2016. The fight was his first since suffering a serious shoulder injury late last year which sidelined him for the best part of 12 months, and forced him to relinquish the 205-pound title he won from Pereira’s trainer, Glover Teixeira, in the summer of 2022.