A light heavyweight title bout between champion Glover Teixeira and No. 2 ranked Jiri Prochazka headlined the UFC 275 fight card in Singapore on Saturday. It was the the 42-year old Teixeira’s first title defense after defeating Jan Blachowicz to capture the championship last October.
Teixeira and Prochazka went to war in a Fight of the Year candidate performance. The fight had a little bit of everything, but it was Prochazka that emerged from the octagon with the 205-pound belt.
In the opening round, Teixeira secured an early takedown after a few exchanges on their feet. Teixeira delivered punches to the body and head. Prochazka worked to get back to his feet but gave up his back. He avoided his back being completely taken but remained beneath Teixeira. Moments later, Prochazka powered to his feet with two minutes remaining in the round.
The two exchanged on their feet with both men landing before Teixeira secured his second takedown of the frame. Teixeira mounted Prochazka and landing heavy shots. In the closing seconds of the round, Prochazka rolled and scrambled to his feet. As Teixeira remained on the ground, Prochazka stood over him and delivered a series of punches and elbows until the round ended.
Prochazka found success with his striking in the first half of the second round. His jab starting finding a home and he began putting together combinations. He briefly stunned Teixeira with a left hand before leaping in with a flying knee. He connected with another combination that forced Teixeira to desperately try to get the fight to the ground.
After absorbing two hammer fists, Teixeira scrambled to his feet. Prochazka continued to land a variety of strikes. He attempted another flying knee and Teixeira connected with a counter left hand. Prochazka fell to the canvas and Teixeira gained top position with 90 seconds left on the clock.
Teixeira postured up and connected with heavy punches and elbows. In the closing seconds of the round, Teixeira mounted Prochazka and unloaded huge elbows that opened up a significant cut on Prochazka’s forehead. All three judges scored the first two rounds for Teixeira.
In the third round, Prochazka landed his jab and defended Teixeira’s first two takedown attempts. He looked to have Teixeira in trouble before Teixeira caught a knee and took Prochazka to the ground. Seconds later, Prochazka was back on his feet.
Prochazka began targeting Teixeira’s body with punches and knees. After absorbing a knee to the midsection, Teixeira fell to the canvas. Prochazka delivered hammer fists and left hands. Prochazka applied a D’arce choke and worked to finish but Teixeira escaped the choke and gained top position. He finished the round landing punches and elbows.
The two exchanged on their feet in the opening portion of the fourth round with both men landing heavy leather. After connecting with a combination, Teixeira changed levels and slammed Prochazka to the canvas. He mounted Prochazka and hammered away with punches before applying an arm-triangle choke. Teixeira couldn’t secure the choke so he abandoned the submission attempt. Seconds later, Teixeira applied another arm-triangle and stepped off to the side to tighten the choke.
Prochazka remained calm and motioned to the referee that he was okay. He defended the submission attempt and reversed Teixeira. Prochazka immediately postured up and began throwing punches. Teixeira powered free and took Prochazka’ back. Prochazka quickly reversed Teixeira in the closing seconds of the grappling heavy round.
Early in the final round, Teixeira connected with a big right hand that sent Prochazka backwards. He followed up with two more punches before applying an guillotine choke and pulling guard. Prochazka freed his head and gain top position.
Teixeira worked his way back to his feet and went back to landing right hands. After connecting with a combination, Teixeira looked to get the fight to the ground. Prochazka shook off the attempt and the two separated. Teixeira delivered another right hand followed by a combination before working for a takedown.
Teixeira secured the takedown and mounted Prochazka. He landed punches, but Prochazka worked his legs up the fence and kicked off reversing Texeira. After several transitions in position, Prochazka worked in side control. Teixeira tried to bridge himself free and rolled. Prochazka quickly applied a rear-naked choke forcing Teixeira to tap out.
Heading into the final round, two of the three judges had Teixeira up on the scorecards. The third judge had the fight even.