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Jiri Prochazka injury update: Why UFC 282 will have new main event for light heavyweight title

Late bombshell news rocked the UFC before Thanksgiving, as Jiri Prochazka is no longer UFC light heavyweight champion. Here is all the information you need regarding Prochazka's status and what the new main event of UFC 282 will be.

One of the UFC's most anticipated fights of 2022 will not be going on as planned. A rematch of UFC 275’s Fight of the Year candidate between UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira has been nixed from UFC 282. 

Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole was the first to report the news, which was later confirmed by the UFC. Per Tim Simpson, Prochazka's manager, the champion injured his right shoulder while wrestling. It popped out and someone popped it back in. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has revealed it to be a “serious orthopedic injury.” Prochazka will vacate the light heavyweight title and will be out for about a year. He vacated immediately out of respect for the division. 

"This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history," UFC President Dana White told Yahoo Sports. "It's really f------ bad. His shoulder is very, very bad. He's going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab.”

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 282 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Prochazka just won the UFC light heavyweight title from Teixeira in his third fight with the UFC. A former RIZIN light heavyweight champion, Prochazka is on a 13-fight win streak. Someone close to Prochazka told MMA Fighting that following the surgery it “will be a long road back, unfortunately.” 

Prochazka sent out a statement on social media, stating he will be out of action for at least six months. He apologized to Teixeira and sent a message to the light heavyweight division. 

"I will not hold light heavyweight division and will vacate the title. I will go for the UFC belt as soon as the doctors give me the green light to fight. 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."

The new main event will be former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev. That fight was meant to be the co-headliner. UFC 282 takes place on Dec. 10 inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. 

Blachowicz won the UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes in 2020. After losing the belt against Teixeira, his last fight was a TKO win over Aleksandar Rakic. 

The 2020 gold medalist at the Muay Thai World Championships faces Anakalev, ranked third in the UFC light heavyweight rankings. Anakalev made his pro debut in 2014. Since losing his UFC debut in 2018, Ankalaev has won nine in a row. His last fight was a TKO win against Anthony Smith in July. 

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The UFC stated Prochazka would receive a title shot when he returns. Teixeira, who beat Blachowicz for the title at UFC 267, declined to face another opponent for the belt.

"We offered Glover the fight [against Ankalaev]. For some reason, he didn't want the fight, so we had to move on," White explained. "If we couldn't have the rematch, getting Ankalaev, who has the second-longest winning streak in light heavyweight history, and Blachowicz, who is the former champion, is really fortunate. It all fell into place for us as it often seems to do. But that's a great fight, too, and now it's for the full title."

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