Glover Teixeira, 42, has lost his UFC light-heavyweight title after submitting in the closing seconds of a five-round, all-time epic.
“That’s a hall of fame fight, eventually it will be inaugurated,” Jon Anik said in comment.
Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka put up an age-long battle, split evenly between bulldozers and elite-level wrestling, before Prochazka finally sealed a bare back choke with 28 seconds left in the fifth round. It was his first time past three rounds, and only his third UFC fight ever.
Prochazka’s record goes to 29-3-1 as he becomes the 15th undisputed light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC organization and the Czech Republic’s first champion.
Previously there was a ‘robbery’ in the co-main event, and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk also announced her shocking retirement after suffering a brutal loss to Weili Zhang.
Watch UFC 275: Teixeira v Prochazka LIVE on the Main Event, available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday, June 12 from 12pm AEST. ORDER NOW >
ALL TIME TITLE WAR
42-year-old Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka’s light-heavyweight title fight delivered a war of epic proportions, and from the first minute. Brazilian superstar Teixeira, the champion, defeated his rival twice in the opening round, but was unable to cash in on his position with much effective ground-and-pound. Prochazka got back to his feet late in the lap and soon claimed a mount and ended the action with a series of bombs.
Prochazka started the second round with a sensational blitz, shaking the champion with a dizzying attack that could have easily stopped a lesser rival. But Teixeira took it all – flying knees, fists, elbows – and defeated his tiresome opponent with a left hook out of nowhere.
Teixeira turned his positional dominance into brutal and bloody attacks. Towards the end of the round, Prochazka had a massive cut over his left eye, although Teixeira himself was bleeding profusely from his nose.
In the third round, Teixeira continued chasing takedowns, having been outdone when both men stood on their feet. But it was Prochazka himself who twice made his opponent stand on the canvas – only to get him back on his feet both times. Teixeira looked to be in big trouble, especially when he turned a left hook and then a crippling shot to the right body that doubled him up. Prochazka finally took the chance to get his opponent to the ground and knocked the champion down with a vicious fit. But Teixeira survived the incredible damage he had taken and managed to escape submission again and finish the round on top of his rival.
Texiera burst out of the blocks early in the fourth lap, quickly taking out his rival. Prochazka squirmed and narrowly avoided submission, before exploding and showering blows to his downed opponent.
But Teixeira managed to turn their position in the grapple – only for Prochazka to do the same in the closing seconds of the lap.
Not only did the fighters touch gloves at the start of the fifth round, they hugged each other and appreciated the raucous cheers of the crowd.
Teixeira charged forward and landed a deadly combination that seemingly kept the challenger going before committing a huge mistake. The champion tried to grab and take down Prochazka, but the sweaty, slippery bodies saw Teixeira lose his grip and Prochazka somehow ended up on top.
However, Prochazka was deeply troubled and let Teixeira back on his feet. Their incredible battle only came to another level when Teixeira defeated his rival – for Prochazka to turn the tables again and regain the top spot.
And with only 28 seconds to go, Teixeira tapped the rear naked choke.
Teixeira was ahead of the judges’ scorecards entering the fifth round. He said: “He hit me with some body shots that took my gas away. I was gassed.”
But he stated that he would not retire despite the defeat, saying: “Have I looked? Then I will continue!”
“I messed up my left hand, I think there’s something wrong with it,” Prochazka said.
“It’s great, great, great,” he added of his win.
“It was a real war, Glover is a real warrior. I like that,” he finished.
ZHANG DELIVERS INSANE KNOCKOUT WHEN JEDRZEJCZYK RETIRED
The original match between Jedrzejczyk and Zhang was a big brawl and the rematch soon followed a similar trend, as Zhang landed heavy shots at the post.
Jedrzejczyk survived the first round, but in the end she couldn’t survive a spinning backfist from Zhang who knocked her unconscious against the canvas.
Ultimately, it would be Jedrzejczyk’s last fight, taking off her gloves in a tradition of fighters announcing their retirement in the octagon, before revealing her decision in the post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier.
“I’m retired, boys,” Jedrzejczyk said.
“I love you so much. Thank you for this opportunity. UFC, Dana, I’m sorry I disappointed you.”
“I’m turning 35 this year. I want to be a mother; I want to be a business woman. I want all of this to happen now. I’ve trained for two decades, more than half my life. I love you.”
SHEVCHENKO SURVIVES WILD SCARY
Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has crushed all challengers to her title but needed a controversial decision to retain her throne in a harrowing and grueling war with Taila Santos.
Struggling to cope with Santos’ physicality and wrestling, Shevchenko was forced to repeatedly escape attempts at submission. But she fought back well in the last two rounds to seal a tiebreaker 48-47, 47-48, 49-46.
Midway through the third round, the fight turned to a brutal clash of heads. It opened a brutal cut over Santos’ right eye, which was clearly hindered in the final two laps.
She said: “Unfortunately I couldn’t really see out of my right eye after it was closed. I saw two Valentinas, I was just trying to get in the middle.”
However, the 49-46 deficit sparked controversy due to Santos’ exceptional performance, with many fans and pundits, including Daniel Cormier, believing the challenger had won the first three rounds.
Shevchenko was booed when the result was announced, while Santos was highly praised by the crowd when she was introduced for her post-fight interview.
“I’m still young. I can’t complain about the decisions or anything. This isn’t the last time you’ll see me fighting for a belt… I’m here, I’m still young, I’m ready for the next one.”
AUSSIES TAKE OVER SINGAPORE
Many Australian fans have traveled to Singapore for UFC 275. And they have been rewarded with an epic trio of performances from three Australian stars, with victories in great fights.
In the final fight of the undercard, Josh Culibao won a stunning split decision by knocking his opponent down twice in a sensational boxing show. Then welterweight Jack Della Maddalena fought back from the rim to destroy an opponent in the opening main card match. Finally, a third Australian in Jake Matthews secured three straight wins with an explosive second round knockout of Andre Fialho heralding him as a serious threat to the welterweight division.
DEBUTANT STARCHES AMERICAN STAR
In an explosive opening of a lightweight fight between Hayisaer Maheshate and American Steve Garcia, both fighters were willing to trade.
But it was a shot from Maheshate that ended the fight after just one minute and 14 seconds.
The Chinese star slid a left hand off Garcia before releasing an overhand right hand. who caught the American on his chin as he entered.
Garcia immediately fell to the ground when the referee rejected the match.
UFC fans were in awe of what they had just seen of Maheshate during his UFC debut.
FIGHTER FOLDED IN ROUND 1
Silvana Gomez Juarez also enjoyed an early knockout after clearing Liang Na with a nice left hook.
Fighting as one of the first prelims, Gomez Juarez dropped her rival to her knee with a thundering right hand.
Na somehow got back on her feet, but she was the easiest target in the world when Gomez Juarez found her chin with a clean left hook and knocked out her opponent as the referee waved the fight off.
Main card (from 12 noon AEST)
Glover Teixeira (c) beats by Jiri Prochazka (light heavyweight championship)
Valentina Shevchenko (c) defeats Taila Santos via SD (Women’s Flyweight Championship)
Weili Zhang defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO (women’s strawweight)
Jake Matthews (AUS) defeats Andre Fialho via KO (welterweight)
Jack Della Maddalena (AUS) defeats Ramazan Emeev via KO (welterweight)
Preliminary Rounds (starting at 10 a.m. AEST)
Joshua Culibao (AUS) def Choi Seung-Woo via SD (Featherweight)
Hayisaer Maheshate defeats Steve Garcia via KO (lightweight)
Brendan Allen defeats Jacob Malkoun via UD (AUS) (middleweight)
Kang Kyung Ho defeats Danaa Batgerel via UD (bantamweight)
Early Preliminary Rounds (starting 8.30am AEST)
Liang Na for sure Silvana Gomez Juarez via KO (women’s strawweight)
Ramona Pascual beats by Joselyne Edwards via UD (featherweight for women)
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