“He’s Ready but I Don’t Want Him to…”: Dana White Discloses Face-to-Face Conversation With Jiri Prochazka to Set UFC Return Timeline

Published 02/05/2023, 8:15 AM EST

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Jiri Prochazka‘s shoulder injury has been quite well documented and rightfully so. The injury prevented the Czech light heavyweight from defending his title and eventually resulted in Jamahal Hill winning the strap at UFC 283. Now, many would believe that since Prochazka had to vacate his belt, he probably deserves a title shot in return. Not surprisingly, UFC president Dana White too seemed to share similar feelings regarding the 30-year-old’s eventual return.

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In the post-fight press conference after UFC Fight Night 218, White revealed what transpired when he met the former light heavyweight champion. He talked about Prochazka‘s injury and what he believed to be a realistic timeline for his return.

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Jiri Prochazka promised a title fight upon return from injury, says Dana White

While confirming that he did meet the 30-year-old, the UFC president confided that he asked Jiri Prochazka to take any amount of time away from fighting to completely recover.

“Yeah, I talked to him tonight just to say what’s up. I’m not pushing him to return. I want him to take as much time as he needs, and I don’t want him to push that shoulder.” said White.

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He then continued, claiming there was no pressure on the fighter to return. “I don’t want him to feel like there’s a timeline we need him back. The timeline is as soon as he’s 100% healthy. I do not want him to rush or push it.”

The 53-year-old then eventually confirmed that the former champion would earn an immediate title shot upon his return. His exact words were: “yeah I mean if he’s ready, but I don’t want him to feel like he needs to be ready to go. Whoever has the title when he’s 100%  healthy. That fight’s waiting for him.”

Current scenario of the Light Heavyweight division

With this update, it is crucial to understand what’s taking place in the Light Heavyweight division currently. Since Prochazka‘s injury, the division has seen two title fights go down. The first fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended up in a controversial draw which ensured that former champ Glover Teixeira got another shot at the title. Unfortunately for the veteran, Jamahal Hill turned out to be a steep challenge, as the ‘Dana White contender series’ graduate eventually beat the Brazilian to take the UFC strap. So, in the scenario of Prochazka returning, it all depends on who Hill faces next. Although as of now there has been no news on any of the contenders.

MMA correspondent Aaron Bronsteter also tweeted about this update on his feed.

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This announcement comes as a great piece of news for the Czech fighter and his fans. Since he is also considered one of the most exciting fighters currently, fans will no doubt find the news exciting.

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What do you think of this update by White? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Pragjyoti Singh

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Pragjyoti is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He is extremely passionate about MMA and has a good understanding of the sport and its technicalities. Having trained in the sport along with a passion for journalism, it has helped him develop a keen interest in the UFC and anything related to the promotion.
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Edited by:

Vineet Nandwana

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