Volkan Oezdemir thinks the hype surrounding Jiri Prochazka is warranted, and he wouldn’t be stunned if he turned UFC champion.
Never shying away from a troublesome combat, Oezdemir (17-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) was the one to welcome the previous Rizin FF champion to the octagon and after a stable Round 1 of their UFC 251 battle, Oezdemir was stopped by Prochazka within the opening minute of the second spherical.
“I’m not gonna say anything went wrong, because that’s just what happened,” Oezdemir advised MMA Junkie on his previous loss to Prochazka. “I just lost attention and from there obviously there’s different stuff that I chose that wasn’t the best option. But if I have to re-do the fight, we can do a lot of stuff differently. This isn’t a problem. It’s now in the past. I know what I have to correct. I know also what went wrong in the second round.”
Prochazka (28-3-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) went on to attain one other highlight-reel end over former title challenger Dominick Reyes and now finds himself because the backup for the sunshine heavyweight title combat between champion Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira on Oct. 30 at UFC 267.
Having been in there with Prochazka, Oezdemir sees gold in “Denisa’s” future, and he’d like nothing greater than the prospect to avenge his loss to him in a title combat.
“That is actually something that is really good,” Oezdemir stated. “Story wise, first of all, and I think this is the guy that has the tools to be champion, as well. He is not somebody to take lightly. This guy is really tough, and if he gets the opportunity to fight for the title, I’m gonna give a lot of chance on his side.”
Just two fights in, Prochazka has taken the sunshine heavyweight division by storm. No stranger to a quick rise himself, former title challenger Oezdemir understands why Prochazka has been getting the promotional push from the UFC.
“I think he’s really interesting,” Oezdemir stated. “He’s bringing something different to the game. Just his character, his face and his approach, the way he moves. Obviously a guy like that will get pushed anyway, but he also deserves it. Let’s not forget about that. He’s been ranked internationally – not the UFC’s rankings but all-around rankings, so he’s kind of always been there. Fighting tough fights, a lot of fights, a lot of victories and now two top 10 in a row and two former title challengers, so obviously this is a statement by itself.”
Oezdemir will return to motion for the primary time since dropping to Prochazka in July 2020 when he takes on streaking contender Magomed Ankalaev to open up the UFC 267 predominant card in Abu Dhabi.